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StiS etiQin, l^tistorical Gxaiot^, anlr i£teIation to 

^ein Etetiivxmt jfulfilment w 






Professor A, B, DAVIDSON, D.D., 





rriHE studies which form the contents of this book 
were published originally in three parts in Thco- 
logische Studien und Kritiken^ (1865 and 1869). In 
compliance with frequent requests I allowed them 
to appear in 1876 as a separate work, of which an 
English translation was published in 1876 by T. & T. 
Clark, Edinburgh. More than a year ago the book 
was sold off. The continuance of the demand for 
it, and the conviction that, apart from works on the 
same subject that had appeared in the intei*val, it 
still had a special mission to fulfil, decided me to 
publish a new edition. Apart from a reference to 
recent literature, the Second and Third Parts will 
be found substantially unaltered. More important 
alterations, however, both as to form and matter, 
were found necessary in the First Part, not because 
my views had changed, but because it was necessary 
to justify them against objections, and to secure 
them at various points from misunderstanding. May 

' [Theological Essays and Reviews — a Magazine. — Tr.] 


vi Preface to the Second Bditimi. 

the little book in its partly altered form help to 
farther the design of its original conception ''by 
making way for the conviction, that when full justice 
has been done to the principles of grammatical and 
historical exegesis, and due recognition given to all 
the well-established results of critical investigation of 
the Old Testament writings and history, the Divine 
revelations and deeds of the Old Covenant, prepara- 
tory to Christ and His Kingdom, so far from being 
obscured, appear rather in clearer light, because they 
emerge to view in more tangible historic reality." 

Dr. Edward Eiehm. 

Halle, 22nd Xovtm?)fr 1884. 


T TRUST I have not altogether failed in the 
-^ endeavour to make this translation at once 
accurate and readable. It has had the advantage of 
being not only read, but for the- most part carefully 
examined in proof by Dr. A. B. Davidson, New 
College, Edinburgh, to whom I owe more thanks in 
connection with my execution of the work than I 
can well here express. I am glad that he thinks 
favourably of the translation, and, while pleading 
guilty to the charge of using philosophical terms (see 
p. xviii), I have to say that in this respect I have 
certainly not gone beyond the example of the German 
original. The liberties I have taken with Biehm's 
text do not on the whole exceed those ordinarily con- 
ceded to a translator, but the few following explanations 
may not be amiss. 

The italics are in the main those of Riehm, but 
there are naturally some divergences which did not 
seem to me of such importance as to require special 
indication. I have been so impressed by a sense of 
the importance of Riehm's work to the general reader 
and learner, as well as to the scholar, that I have 


viii Translator^a Preface, 

excluded Oreek and Hebrew characters — in one or two 
cases even the words themselves — both from the 
text and the footnotes, and where the words are 
used, I h^ve generally inserted English equivalents 
in brackets. With the exception perhaps of the use 
of ch (instead of Jj) for n, the system of transliteration 
adopted for the Hebrew words is that generally 
employed. Except in the name Jehovah (YBh\eh), 
no equivalent has been used for the silent simple 
sh'va. For the composite sh^vas I have used the 
corresponding vowels with the short mark ("). 
The 8*gh>dl is expressed either by e or by A In 
the Greek words the short vowels are not marked. 
The numbers used in citing Scripture texts have, 
where necessary, been altered so as to correspond 
with those of the English Bible. The printers 
have adopted the plan of a uniform numeral for 
chapter and verse; it will be understood that the 
comma marks a transition to a new chapter or book, 
and that it is placed before (not,- as with Biehm, 
after) the transition. In order to lessen the number 
of parentheses in the text, I have transferred the 
major part of the Scripture references to the footnotes, 
even where, as in most cases, Biehm has placed them 
in the text. Except where the contrary is stated, the 
page, etc., references are to the originals of the works 
cited. The abbreviation in loc, cit. (in loco citato) 
means in the work (of the author in question) already 
cited. Biehm's style is on the whole terse and clear ; 
but I have not hesitated in some instances to break 

Translator's Preface. ix 

up sentences or transpose clauses, even when the 
taking of such liberties was not strictly necessary^ 
and I have allowed myself occasionally to soften the 
harshness of what seemed an un-English expression 
by means of an apologetic so to speak. I have not 
been able to avoid a certain appearance of arbitrari- 
ness in the use of capital and small initials, par- 
ticularly in the case of the words kingdom and 
theocracy and related words. I have tried to re- 
serve the capital initial for the ideal as distinguished 
from the historical sense of these words ; but in many 
instances the two senses manifestly tend to coincide. 
The words holy land are written with small initials, 
except where the expression seems to be used in its 
modem geographical sense. The word Erkenntniss — 
particularly the plural form — is notoriously a stumb- 
ling-block to translators from German. Probably I 
ought to have adopted Professor Davidson's suggestion 
to render it, wherever possible, by truths; but the 
plea of greater accuracy may perhaps be allowed to 
cover the occasional oflfence' of apprehensions or even 
cognitions. The same excuse may be pled for envisage, 
envisaging form (veranschaulichen, Anschauungsform). 
The use of content for Inhcdt does not now need 
an apology, but some i*eaders may need to be re- 
minded that German writers use the word Moment 
in the philosophical sense of a stage in a process of 
thinking or an element of a mental conception, and 
that the practice of English philosophical writers 
may now be said to have sanctioned its use in that 

X Translator's Preface. 

sense in our language. Would not a better plan, 
however, have been the use of the Latin form of the 
word (see p. 322)? 

I trust the Appendices will be found useful The 
Index of Scripture Citations has been constructed 
so as to enable the reader to discover without loss 
of time what Biehm may have to say on a particular 

In connection with the collection of material for 
the list of modern works on the Messianic Hope, I 
have to express my thanks to Mr. T. E. Sandeman, 
New College, Edinburgh, and to Mr. Kennedy, the 
librarian, as well as to Professor Davidson and the 
publishers. But my greatest thanks in this reference 
are due to Dr. P. Schmiedel, Jena, who furnished me 
with a very complete list of the works of importance — 
dealing either in part or whole with the subject, or 
some aspect of it — that have appeared since 1886. 
I have not attempted to include Commentaries in this 
list ; but, if any exception to this rule had been con- 
ceded, it would have been made most willingly in 
favour of Mr. G. A. Smith's able homiletic work on 
Isaiah (London : Hodder & Stoughton), both volumes 
of which — particularly vol. ii. in the chapters dealing 
with the Servant of the Lord — deserve no less grateful 
recognition from the fact that Mr. Smith's views re- 
garding the Servant do not altogether coincide with 
those here advocated. 

East Wbmtss, February 1891. 



rriHE translator and publishers have done a lasting 
-*- service to students of the Old Testament by 
bringing out this new edition of Kiehm's Messianic 
Prophecy. No work of the same compass could be 
named that contains so much that is instructive on 
the nature of prophecy in general, and particularly 
on the branch of it specially treated in the book. 
Some readers may not agree with Biehm in all the 
positions which he holds; but there is no one who 
will refuse to acknowledge the thoughtfulness, the 
fairness and candour, and the reverential spirit of the 

Perhaps the author has spent too much time in 
coming to terms. with Hengstenberg and Konig on 
the nature of the prophetic inspiration. But the 
conclusion which he reaches is an important one, 
namely, that there is no evidence that the oracles of 
the canonical prophets were received in Vision, or in 
any condition to be strictly called ecstasy. Biehm 


xii Introduction, 

holds strongly that the progress of Eevelation was 
organic, and in all cases, as he terms it, " psycho- 
logically mediated;" in other words, that essential 
steps towards any revelation that might be called 
new, or an advance on that already in existence, 
were the operation of the prophet's mind on truth 
already known, and the influence upon him of the 
circumstances around him. The theory of Visioh 
has been thought necessary to account for the remark- 
able fact that all the prophets represent the con- 
summation and perfect condition of the Kingdom of 
God as at hand, and bring it close up upon the back 
of the great events transacting in their own day — 
the early chapters of Isaiah, for example, placing it 
close behind the Assyrian devastations ; and the later 
chapters, immediately on the back of the downfall of 
Babylon before Cyrus. Many writers describe this 
peculiarity of prophecy by the word perspective, and 
appear to think that they have explained it, whereas 
they have only called by another name the thing 
requiring explanation. Eiehm appears to think that 
a sufBcient explanation of the peculiarity is to be 
found in the earnest expectation of the prophets, in 
their ardent hopes of the speedy fulfilment of God's 
promises, and of the revelation of His glory to all 
flesh. This hope and fervent desire, acting on the 
imagination of the prophets, brought the consumma- 
tion so vividly before them, that they represent it as 
at hand, and the issue of the great events taking 
place around them. There is an element of truth in 

Introduction. xiii 

this view, though hardly enough to explain the 
phenomena. The important thing, however, in read- 
ing prophecy, is to recognise the facts, even if the 
explanation be obscure ; and no fact is more certain 
or more necessary to be kept in view than this. 

Another point which Biehm greatly insists upon 
is, that in interpreting any particular prophecy, the 
right question to put in the first instance is. What 
did the propliet mean ? and what did he desire those 
to whom he spoke to understand ? Such a question 
as, What did the Spirit mean? or, What did God 
mean, is not to be put at least in the first instance. 
Riehm recognises the propriety of the latter question 
in certain circumstances. The difiference between the 
two questions (when they are not identical) is, that 
while the first relates to the particular part considered 
in itself, the second relates to the part considered as an 
element in a great whole. There is a difference between 
the comprehension of the workmen and that of the 
architect. While the individual workman, who polishes 
a foundation, or wreathes a pillar, may have perfect 
comprehension of the piece of work he is engaged 
upon, and be full of enthusiasm in the execution of 
it, he may not be able to see the place it will hold 
in the completed fabric, or the greater meaning which 
may accrue to it from the whole. Obviously this 
can be perceived only when the fabric is reared. The 
question, therefore. What did the Spirit mean? is 
one that can be answered only from the point of 
view of a completed revelation. But the histferical 

xiv Introduction. 

interpreter assumes that the revelation was pro- 
gressive, and his endeavour is to throw himself back 
into the historical movement, and trace how truth 
after truth was reached by the prophets and people 
of Israel. This truth was no truth till it took form 
in the mind of the prophet, and hence the interpreter 
asks on each occasion, What did the prophet mean ? 
When this question has been answered in each case 
down through the whole development, it may be 
profoundly instructive to look at any or each of the 
particulars in the light of the whole. 

It is when Riehm reaches the positive part of liis 
investigation that his work becomes most interesting 
— when, for example, he draws attention to the 
elements of a prophetic kind that lay in the very 
fundamental conceptions of the Old Testament religion, 
such a conception as that of a covenant of God with 
a people to be their God, that of a theocracy or 
kingdom of God upon the earth, or that of prophecy, 
men brought into the counsel of God and filled with 
His Spirit. These mere conceptions, and many others 
like them, were prophetic of a perfect future ; they 
were so in a positive way, and they became even 
more so from the feeling of contradiction between 
the idea suggested and the small degree in which it 
had at any time been realised. Even the inherent 
imperfections of the Old Testament dispensation were 
prophetic of their own removal. Prophecy was to a 
large extent idealism, it transfigured institutions and 
history, and disengaged from them the religious ideal, 

IrUrodiictuyii. xv 

holding it up before men as a thing certain to be 
attained in the future, though only by being earnestly • 
striven after. The organic connection of prophecy 
with history has been illustrated by Eiehm with a 
wealth of examples exceeding anything hitherto done 
by others. 

The term Messianic is used in a wider and a 
narrower sense. In the wider sense it is a descnp* 
tion of all that relates to the consummation and 
perfection of the Kingdom of God, a use not altogether 
appropriate or exact In the narrower sense it refers 
to a personage who is, not always, but often, a com- 
manding figure in this perfect condition of the 
Kingdom. Many questions rise at this point for 
discussion, some of which Hiehm touches only in- 
directly perhaps, such as the question whether there 
be in the Old Testament a Messianic hope in the 
narrower sense as a distinct thing, or whether it be 
not always a subordinate element in the larger hope 
of the perfection of the- Kingdom of God. The 
question has its justification in the fact that the 
great personage spoken of is the glorified reflection 
sometimes of one oflicer in the Kingdom of God and 
sometimes of another ; and that in the several pro- 
phets, one after another, he is the reflection of the 
officer that has the highest religious significance at 
the several periods when they wrote. During the 
monarchy he is the idealised theocratic king; after 
the Bestoration, when the priest rose to eminence in 
the community, he is the glorified Priest During 

xvi Introdudion, 

the exile he disappears, and his place is taken by 
an idea, which the powerful religious genius of the 
prophet of the exile (Isa. xl. seq.) has given body to, 
and made a person, the idea, namely, that the truth 
of the true God has been given to Israel, that this 
truth is incarnated in Israel, and thus has arisen a 
Being who is indestructible, an Israel which has 
existed all through the history of the outward Israel, 
and will continue to exist: a vital heart in Israehs 
which will yet send its living pulses even to Israel's 
extremities, and through Israel will become the life 
and light of the Gentiles. How profoundly Christian, 
if not strictly Messianic, this idea is, need not be said. 
At all times the Saviour is Jehovah, and if the great 
personage whom we call the Messiah play any part 
in salvation, whatever his rdle be, king or priest, it is 
the divine in him that is the saving power. The 
theocratic king is the representative of Jehovah, the 
true King and Saviour. What must he be to truly 
represent Him, and what will he be when he does so ? 
Nothing less than the manifestation of Jehovah him- 
self in all His saving attributes (Isa. ix., xi.). This 
point is perhaps hardly elaborated in Eiehm with 
sufficient fulness. 

Finally, ih the last section of his work, devoted to 
the question of Fulfilment, and distinguished by 
candour and thoughtfulness, Riehm insists much on 
the distinction between Prophecy and Fulfilment. 
The two must be kept sedulously apart. * Prophecy is 
what the prophet, in his age and circumstances and 

Introduction. xvii 

dispensation, meant ; Fulfilment is the form in which 
his great religious conceptions will gain validity in 
other ages, in different circumstances, and under 
another dispensation. Certain elements, therefore, of 
the relative, the circumstantial, and the dispensational 
must be stripped away and not expected to go into 
fulfilment. Every prophet speaks of the perfection of 
the Kingdom of God, looks for it, and constructs an 
ideal of it. We are still looking for it. The funda- 
mental conceptions in these constnictions are always 
the same, — the presence of God with men, righteousness, 
peace, and the like, — but the fabrics reared by different 
prophets differ. They differ because each prophet 
seeing the perfect f:uture issue out of the movements 
and conditions of his own present time constructs his 
ideal of the new world out of the materials lying 
around him : the state of his people ; the condition of 
the heathen world in his day ; such facts as that the 
Kingdom of God liad a form as a state, and that the 
centre of Jehovah's rule was Zion. These relative 
elements are not called figurative, they are essential 
parts of the prophet's conceptions. But if we inquire 
how far the prophet's ideal of the perfect Kingdom of 
God may be expected to be realised, obviously these 
relative elements in it will have to be stripped away, 
and fulfilment looked for only to the essential religious 
conceptions. It would be far from the truth, how- 
ever, to fancy that the relative and concrete form in 
which the prophet embodies his eternal truths has 
lost all significance to us. It is of the utmost signifi- 

xviii Introduetian, • 

cance ; for, in the first place, it brings home to ns 
better than anything else the recdity of the religion 
and the religious life in the Old Testament times, for 
obviously if the Prophecies had had us in view they 
would have taken another form ; and secondly, the 
concrete embodiment of the prophetic truth helps us 
to realise the truth ; we see the situation, and can 
transport ourselves into it, and live over again the life 
of men in former days. There is little in the Old 
Testament of which it can be said that it is antiquated. 
The translator appears to have done his work well. 
His rendering is vigorous and readable. Perhaps he 
is a little too partial to the use of the technical terms 
of philosophy. There is no doubt that the language 
which " wives and wabsters " speak is capable of 
expressing everything which any reasonable man can 
desire to say to his fellows. 





The Obioin of Messianic Prophecy, 14 

1. (a) Its Origin in Revelation, 14 

(6) The Mode of Revealed Communication to the Propheti, 1 9 
(c) The Organico- Genetic Connection of Prophecy with 

the Root- Ideas of Old Testament Religion, . . 59 

2. (a) The Idea of the Covenant 66 

(6) The Idea of the Kingdom of God, . . . . SS 
(c) The Idea of the Theocratic Kingship, . .101 


The Historical Character of Messiaxic Prophecy— Its 

Adaptation to the Times, 124 

The Fact and the Reasons of its Manifold Form, 125 

1. Its Times-Colouring, 133 

(a) Resulting from its Destination, . .133 
(6) And its Origin, in particular, the Limits of the Pro- 
phetic Prospect, 142 

(c) Proof- References, 153 

2. The yet deeper Influence of the circumstances of the Relative 

Times npon the Content of Messianic Prophecy, . 175 
(a) Their Influence upon the Unfolding of the Separate 

Germs of Messianic Apprehension, ., . .176 

Proved in the case of the Prophecy regarding the 

Messias, 179 

And of other Elements in Messianic Prophecy, 194 

(6) The Parallelism between the course of the History of 
the Kingdom of God and the Development of 

Messianic Prophecy, 203 


XX Contcntg. 



The Relation of Messiaiwc Prophecy to New Testament 

Fulfilment, 217 

1. Its Times-borrowed Features, 219 

2. Its specifically Old Testament Features, .... 228 

3. The Old Testament Envisaging Forms still adhering to all 

Messianic Prophecies, in particular, .... 234 

/ (a) Jerusalem, the City of God, 235 

(6) Israel's Central Position in the Kingdom of God, . 238 

4. The Measure of Apprehension of God's Saving PuriK)se ex- 

hibited by Messianic Prophecy, 271 

(a) In relation to the Final State of the People and King- 
dom of God, 272 

(6) In relation to the Mediation of Salvation, in particular 

the Person of the Messias, .... 278 

(c) In relation to the Messianic Work of Salvation, . 283 
{d) In relation to the Conditions and Historical Course of 

the Realisation of Salvation, .... 288 

V 5. The ultimate Reference to Christ of all Messianic Prophecy 

in the Scheme of Historical Revelation and Salvation, 296 

6. The Coincidence of Prophecy and Fulfilment in Individual 

Concrete-Historical Features, 310 

7. The Fulfilment of Messianic Prophecy in the Church and 

Kingdom of Christ, 313 

Concluding Remarks, 318 


A, Notes, 325, 

B, Index to Scripture Passages cited by Riehm, and to his other 

references to Ancient Literature, 330 

C, List of Modem Works referred to by Riehm, . . .341 

D, Recent Literature on Messianic Prophecy, or on the growth 

of the Messianic idea in Jewish History, .... 345 


IN this work we use the phrase Messianic prophecy 
in its wider sense, understanding by it all the 
Old Testament promises of the final accomplishment 
of the Elingdom of God, and the consequent glorifi- 
cation of His people. Messianic prophecy in the 
narrower sense (the prophecy, viz., of an ideal theocratic 
king of the house of David, with whose appearance is 
associated the inauguration of the last time) cannot be 
made an object of separate investigation, because its 
growth is intimately connected with that of the more 
universal promise. It is, moreover, axiomatic with us 
as Christian theologians that the entire body of Old 
Testament promise, relating to the last times, finds its 
fulfilment in and through Christ ; and when we appro- 
priate for the phrase Messianic prophecy the wider 
sense that has now become common, it is only our 
way of expressing this fundamental conviction. 

No special proof is needed, that what we thus de- 
scribe as axiomatic is repeatedly attested in the most 
emphatic way by Christ and the apostles. Every one 
remembers the sayings of Christ : that the Scriptures 

of the Old Covenant testify of Him (John 5. 39) ; that 


2 Memanic Prophecy. 

His sufferiDgs and death, His resurrection and glorifica- 
tion, were preannounced in the law of Moses, in the 
prophets, and the psalms (Luke 24. 44 ff ) ; that what 
was wriiten of Him mvst be fulfilled (Matt. 26. 54, 
Luke 22. 37); that the Scripture could not be broken 
(John 10. 35), and others of like import. Every one 
knows how the apostles invariably start with the proof 
that what God had foretold by the mouth of all His 
prophets had been fulfilled in the appearance, the career, 
the work of Christ — in the salvation He brought, in 
the Kingdom He founded; how, in particular, even 
Paul attests that God had "promised afore" by His 
prophets the gospel of His Son (Rom. 1. 2), and that 
all the promises of God are ''yea and amen" in Christ 
(2 Cor. 1. 20). The minuter study of the views of 
the New Testament writers has tended to set only in 
clearer relief the fundamental importance which they 
attach to the conviction that the New Covenant is the 
accomplishment of the Old, and the fulfilment of its 
prophecies. It has shown, in particular, that even in 
its most developed phases the apostolic doctrine of the 
person and work of Christ finds its basis and starting- 
point in the belief that Jesus is the promised Messias 
of the Old Covenant^ 

Even the Old Testament, moreover, is not behind- 
hand in attesting the justification of this assumption. 
It attests it in so far as Messianic prophecy points 

^ Cp. in regard to the Johannine Cbristology my remarks in 
SUidien u. Kritiken, 1864, pp. 552 ff., and A. U. Fbanke, Das AUe 
Testament hei Johannes^ 1885, pp. 166 flf. 

IntrodiLCtion. 3 

expressly beyond the Old Covenant itself. For it not 
only announces the extension of the original purely 
Ismelitish theocracy to a universal Kingdom of God, 
embracing all peoples ; it indicates also with perfect 
definiteness that in the last days there will occur a 
thorough inward transformation of the existing theo- 
cracy, and a substantial alteration in the character of 
the covenant-fellowship between God and His people. 
Then there will be no place either for Levitical priest 
or official prophet, for Israel will be a nation of priests 
(Isa. 61. 6), and will be furnished with the gift of 
prophecy (Joel 2. 28 f.); all without distinction shall 
know the LOED and be taught of Him, so that none 
shall need instruction from another (Jer. 31. 34, 
Isa. 54. 13). The law shall not be written on tables 
of stone, but on the heart (Jer. 31. 33). The ark of 
the covenant will be forgotten, for the gracious pre- 
sence of God with His people will no longer be a mere 
dwelling in the inner shrine of the temple. Bather 
shall all Jerusalem be called the ''Throne of the 
LOED." It will be the place of His dwelling and 
His revelation. There the tribes of Israel will be 
assembled about their God ; thither also the Gentiles 
will come up (Jer. 3. 17). The whole economy of 
the Covenant will be different. God will make a new 
covenant with His people, different from the covenant 
made with their fathers at Sinai (Jer. 31. 31 ff.). 
And all this will result from one grand and final deed 
of salvation — a full revelation of grace, which shall at 
once crown all previous revelations and put them in 

4 Messianic Prophecy. 

the shade (Jer. 16. 14 f., 23. 7 f., Isa. 43. 16 ff.).— 
Who can deny that the goal, which Old Testament 
prophecy has in view, while it lies thus obviously 
beyond the limits of the Old Covenant, is none other 
than that which, in accordance with the New Testa- 
ment, and histoiy, and the personal experience of every 
true Christian, is attained, and is ever more attained, in 
and through Christ ? For surely all such transcendent 
visions in the Old Testament point ultimately to a 
Last Time, in which for all the individual membei's of 
the unlimited Theocracy fellowship with God shall be 
perfect through the complete remission of sins and the 
universal outpouring of the Spirit 

The general proposition, that all the promises of 
God are yea and amen in Christ, must, however, be 
more accurately defined. The relation of Old Testa- 
ment prophecy to New Testament fulfilment requires 
a minuter investigation. The tiihe is past when a 
dogmatising exegesis could find the whole sense of 
New Testament assurance expressed in the Old Testa- 
ment — only with less distinctness, and under cover of 
various emblems and types. The right and the duty of 
a strictly historical consideration and exposition of the 
Old Testament have gained a wider recognition. At 
the same time, and partly as the result of the Chris- 
tology of Hengstenberg, the conviction from which 
we started has asserted itself with fresh force and 
in ever-widening circles as the inalienable possession 
of Christian faitL How does the strictly historical 
exposition of the Old Testament harmonise with this 

Introduction. 5 

conviction ? Does it not look as if it undermined it, 
or at least considerably loosened the bond which, in 
the correspondence of prophecy with fulfilment, con- 
nects the Old Testament with the New ? Modern 
theological science has to seek a new and satisfying 
answer to the question : In what way and in what 
measure did Old Testament prophecy promise afore 
(Rom. 1. 2) the gospel of God concerning His Son. 
This is undoubtedly an important task. For, accord- 
ing to what we have noted above, we are concerned 
to know whether and in what way Christ's conscious- 
ness of the relation of His vocation and work to the 
whole course of previous revelation can lay claim to 
historical justification and foundation. What insight 
may we have into the wonderful ways the wisdom of 
God has used in the education of men — of Israel in 
particular; ways, whose goal was Jesus Christ? On 
our answer to this question must depend in no small 
degree the measure of importance which we Christians 
may attach to Old Testament Scripture. 

These pages aim at contributing to the solution of 
this problem. They do not contain an exhaustive 
treatment of Messianic prophecy. But they may 
perhaps claim to be a consecutive exposition of the 
three points which are of first importance in a synopsis 
of the subject. 

To arrive at a true view of the relation of prophecy 
to fulfilment, one must start on the right road in 
ascertaining the contents of prophecy. This is not 
done by those whose main or only question is : What 

6 Messianic Prophecy. 

did God or the Spirit of God intend to say in a 
prophecy, and who do not trouble themselves to ascer- 
tain the sense which the prophets attached to their 
own utterances, and in which they wished them to be 
understood by their contemporaries.^ How, let us 
ask, is the sense which God or the Spirit of God 
intended in a prophecy sought and found ? The 
answer is: We must look backwards, we must see 
the prophecy in the light that falls upon it from 
the point of view of the fulfilment. We are far from 
condemning wholesale this way of regarding Old 
Testament prophecy. In the purely practical and 
religious use of the Old Testament it is botli right 
and necessary. For here the only essential point is to 
ascertain what prophecy says to us, and there is no 
offence to science if by means of our fuller New 
Testament assurance the buds of Old Testament 
promise are made to unfold themselves, or if by the 
same means the bare outline is converted into the 
clearly coloured picture. Even in scientific investi- 

^ Cp. Hengstenbero, Christologie, 2nd ed. iii. 2, p. 204: "The two 
questions must be carefully distinguished — what sense the prophets 
attached to their own utterances, and what God intended in these utter- 
ances. ... On our present method the answer to the former question 
cannot be found, and is not for ua of great importance.** In Heng- 
stenberg's case this disregard of history results from his general view 
of prophecy. If the prophet's only business is to describe the picture 
which God has shown him in a state of ecstasy, and if the prophecy is 
contained only in this picture which— even though the prophet's own 
spirit was allowed to participate in its production — is yet substantially 
only the work of the Spirit of God, it cannot, of course, matter much 
whether and in what degree the prophet himself apprehended its 
significance, or what sense he attached to his oiK*n w^ords. 

Introdttctian. 7 

gation tliis method has its place. In our present 
inquiry it is specially requisite, for our task is to deter- 
mine the purport of individual utterances considered as 
members of the erUire developing body of Old Testament 
prophecy. It certainly cannot be denied that it is 
only when we survey the whole body of Old Testament 
prophecy, with its many members, and in the progress 
of its historical development, from the point of view 
of the accomplishment of God's saving purpose in 
Christ, that the teleological significance of each in- 
dividual prophecy can be fully recognised. But to 
ascertain the direction in which the contents of a . 
prophecy relate themselves to its fulfilment, while it 
determines an important relaiion of the prophecy, 
gives no sufficient explanation of the prophecy itself. 
For what can be recognised only in the time of fulfil- 
ment is precisely what is not contained in the prophecy 
itself A definition of the contents of a prophecy 
can include only the sense — albeit the fvU sense — 
in which at the time of its utterance the prophecy 
could be understood, and was necessarily understood. 

From this sense must not be omitted what the 
prophet apprehended only in vague presentiment, 
without clear consciousness. This presentiment be- 
longs to the contents of the prophecy — of course, 
however, only in the vagueness characteristic of all 
mere presentiment On the other hand, to represent 
the fuller meanings that in the light of New Testament 
fulfilment came to be attached to a prophecy, in virtue J 

of its ultimate reference to Christ in the Divinely-laid 

S Messianic Prophecy. 

plan of historical revelation, as its proper, true, and 
Divinely-intended sense, only breeds confusion ; but 
if we are determined to retain this mode of expression, 
we must at least take care not to reckon the IHvinely- 
intended sense as part of the actual c(mtents of the 
prophecy, when it is our express object to deter- 
mine the relation of the prophecy to its fulfil- 
ment To refuse to distinguish clearly at the outset 
between prophecy and fulfilment, by putting into the 
former a meaning that can be recognised only by 
means of the latter, is to renounce all pretension to 
an exact knowledge of the state of the case. It 
means that we interpret prophecy more or less in 
reference to fulJUment, and tend thus to reduce our 
problem to the absurd one of determining the relation 
of prophecy to a fulfilment, in whose light it has 
already been interpreted. Much of the dissension 
existing between those who lay the main stress on 
the agreement between prophecy and fulfilment, and 
those who emphasise principally the historical charac- 
ter of prophecy, rests solely upon the fact that the 
former have missed the proper statement of the 
question, and have not kept in view with sufficient 
clearness and precision the only relevant problem. 
Hence : The significance which a prophecy receives 
only when it is looked at in the light thrown back 
upon it by its fulfilment, and the sense in which 
the prophets themselves understood their utterances, 
and intended them to be understood by their contem- 
poraries, — in other words, the historical sense of 

Introduction. 9 

prophecy, — must be clearly distinguished. Only the 
latter is in the proper sense of the word the content 
of the prophecy. Hence it only can be taken into 
account when we have to determine the relation of 
the prophecy, as such, to the fulfilment. It is there- 
fore not only not of small, but of the very greatest 
importance. For apart from it a scientific solution of 
our problem is axiomatically impossible.^ 

^ It is a pleasing sign of an incipient mnttial understanding between 
opposite tendencies of thought in the Old Testament field, that the 
correctness of the above propositions has been substantially acknow- 
ledged by a theologian of the school of Hengstenberg — viz. Dr. KI^per, 
in his work, entitled Das PropheUrUhum dea Alien Bundes (Leipzig 
1870, pp. 89 if.). Instead, however, of distinguishing between the 
contents of prophecy and its goal in the historical revelation of grace 
(or its significance as a member of the total organic series of Old 
Testament prophecies), he prefers to distinguish between the historkcd 
sense, to bo ascertained by exegesis, and the contents of the prophecy, 
assigning to the latter the above-mentioned ultimate reference or 
goal. Such a procedure serves rather the interest of his peculiar view 
of prophecy as something objectively given by the Spirit of God — and 
therefore to ht dMngmahed as much as possible from the subjective 
consciousness of the prophet — than that of clear scientific knowledge. 
A clear and precise meaning can be attached to the expression contents 
only when it is made " wholly synonymous " with the historical snise. 
Ktiper is, of course, right in saying that the prophets are conscious of 
announcing secrets which reach beyond the limits of their own com- 
prehension (although the passages cited by him, Jer. S3. 8, Dan. 9. 22, 
Zech. 4, Hab. 2. 1 fif., imply only that they did not know and under- 
stand before revelation what was given them by revelation). Just as 
frequently a pregnant poetic utterance may contain, besides what the 
poet himself was fully conscious of expressing, possibilities of meaning 
which he has grasped only in the vagueness of feeling, so even more 
frequently the oracle of a prophet encloses a treasure, one part of whose 
worth he himself clearly knows, while of the other part he has only a 
vague presentiment, whose content may nevertheless in time emerge 
gradnally into clear consciousness. This must be so esi)eciany in 
visions, where reflection, working upon a mental representation firmly 
retained by the memory, elaborates the inner connections and the 

1 Messianic Prophecy, 

In what sense the prophets themselves intended 
their utterances to be understood by their contem- 
poraries must be ascertained by an exegesis that 

significance of the indiridual features into reasoned clearness. Yet 
the same is true of every idea of rich content ; after it has been grasped 
as a whole, there comes the slow process of clearly apprehending one 
by one all its individual moments. Now : To the contents of a 
propheqf belong vndovMedly not only the «ense, to which the prophet 
has given clearly conecioua expressions but also thai higher and deeper 
meaning^ which, so far as the prophet is concerned, liarhs still in the 
shadowy light qf mere presentiment. This latter must, however, he 
reckoned to the contents of the prophecy only in the ind^niteness, 
characteristic of mere presentiment, in which it is present to the 
prophet^s mind, or in which, in proportion to their receptiveness, it 
may be present to the minds of his contemporaries. Thus reckoned^ 
it belongs also to the historical sense. 

The Object, however (in the absolute sense), of revelation and 
prophecy — i.e. the Decree of JehovaJi — is so great and high, that 
it transcends even the presentiment of the prophet, and remains the 
object of new SjUd future revelations in the sense that the contents of 
these latter are not a mere external addition to the earlier revelations, 
but are organically developed from them (see below). But that 
portion of this absolute object, which lies beyond the reach of even 
the prophet's presentiment, cannot be reckoned as part of the contents 
of his prophecy. And thus a distinction cannot be made between the 
historical sense and the contents of a prophecy. In an explanatory sen- 
tence (p. 72 of his work. Die alttestamentliche Weissagung von der Vol- 
lendung des OoUesreiches, Vienna 1882) von Orelli has acknowledged 
the distinction we have demanded between the contents of a prophecy 
and its goal of fulfilment in Christ through a process of historical 
revelation : " We must take," he says, ** our standiUg ground entirely 
within the time of the origin of these (prophetic) utterances." In the 
same place he allows to the historical fulfilment a '* merely regulative 
influence " in the treatment of prophecy. That he should see in our 
above propositions '* a dualistic partition " of the contents of prophecy 
is due entirely to misapprehension (cp. my criticism in Sttidien und 
Kritiken, 1883, pp. 808 ff.). Even Fried. Ed. K6nio,— Der Offen- 
barungsbegriff des Alien Testaments, 2 vols., Leipzig 1882, — in spite 
of his rigidly supranaturalistic view of the revelations made to the 
prophets, has acknowledged the necessity of the distinction we have 
demanded. (Vol. 2, pp. 385, 389.) 

Introdv^tion, 1 1 

is at once grammatical, critical, and psjxhological. 
Unanimously as the necessity of such exegesis is as 
a matter of principle acknowledged in our time by the 
representatives of the most widely differing stand- 
points, a certain anxious timidity not nnfrequently 
prevents the theologian, who is a believer in revela- 
tion, from making a candid acknowledgment of its 
results in particular instances. This is apt to be 
specially the case in the treatment of those passages 
which have passed current for a considerable time in 
the Church as Messianic prophecies, but to which 
the exegesis of to-day denies that character. But it 
happens also in the discussion of the question whether 
this or that really Messianic passage is or is not to be 
referred directly to the person of the Messias ; and, in 
general, whenever an attempt is made to fix precisely 
the prophetic content of such passages, the same spirit 
is often enough observable. Even though the diifer- 
ence between Old and Kew Testament apprehension is 
in principle allowed, a delicacy is felt in making the 
admission in any particular case, that so little New 
Testament assurance ^ should be contained in passages 
which we have been accustomed to cite as principal 
witnesses for the intimate connection between Old 
Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfilment. — 
But let us see to it that this timidity does not carry 
with it a tendency to depreciate the germ-like begin- 

^ [Here, as in other places, for the German HtUfWi^henntrm (apprelien- 
sion of salvation) — ^a sufficient but not strictly accurate equivalent. 
— Tr.] 

12 Messianic Prophecy. 

nings of Divine revelation, and to assume the unbe- 
coming position of critics of the Divine educative 
wisdom. It is our duty to get rid entirely of the fancy 
that we do justice to Divine revelation and prophecy 
in the Old Testament only when we find our New 
Testament assurance expressed in them. The principal 
reason of our timidity is that, in the desire to see the 
connection between the Old and the New Testament, we 
confine our view too narrowly to individual passages. 
He who in a temple that is an acknowledged archi- 
tectural masterpiece does not survey the structure as 
a whole, may easily look for more beauty and perfec- 
tion of form in the details than they by themselves 
really possess. The spectator, however, who admires the 
whole building, need have no scruple in acknowledging 
the imperfections, in their isolated character, of details, 
which make the temple great and splendid only by their 
coordination and harmonious articulation. One who, 
in like manner, has gained an insight irUo and a view 
of the whole Old Testament economy, and has, as a 
consequence, attained a full and clear conviction that 
the Old Covenant, as a whole, has been planned with 
a view to a future fulfilment in the New, and that 
the whole trend of religious development in the Old 
Testament is towards Christianity, will, in the exegesis 
of all particular Messianic passages, without scruple 
recognise only that measure of knowledge of God's 
saving purpose which, when examined according to 
the rules of a strictly historical method of exegesis, 
they are found really to contain. 

Introduction, 1 3 

It is not our intention in the present work to begin 
by fixing exegetically the precise import of particular 
prophecies. We presuppose the results of exegesis. 
Our problem, as that of those who have gained these 
results, is as follows: — We wish to understand the 
essence and character of Messianic prophecy in the 
Old Testament, viewed in its totality as a historical 
pJienomenon, We propose to do this by investigating 
the relation which the contents of particular prophecies 
bear to the prevailing religious standpoint of Israel, to 
the course of development pursued by Old Testament 
religion, to the historical events, conditions, and cir- 
cumstances of the times of utterance, and to the 
subjective peculiarities of the prophets who uttered 
them. We must examine likewise the mutual rela- 
tions of these prophecies to one another. It is only 
when we have gained in this way a knowledge of the 
historical character of Messianic prophecy that we can 
by comparison of our results with New Testament 
fulfilment obtain a satisfactory answer to our main 
question. — In accordance with this plan our first 
business is to present, and — so far as may appear 
necessary in view of the labours of others — ^to justify, 
the results of our investigation of the historical 
character of Messianic prophecy. 



TO attain a knowledge of the essence and character 
of an historical phenomenon, it is of first import- 
ance that we go back to the beginnings of its growth. 
The first question, therefore, with which we are con- 
cerned, relates to the origin of Messianic prophecy. 
What is this origin ? How did Israel — how, in 
particular, did the prophets arrive at the idea of a 
Messias? To be content simply to say, as a rigid 
and soulless supematuralism says : '' By the revelation 
of God," or: "By the enlightening efficacy of the Divine 
Spirit," is, of course, to express a truth, but it is no 
answer to our question. It is to express a truth: for, of 
course, it is true of Messianic prophecy, as of the pro- 
phetic word in general, that it originates in the revelation 
of God, mediated by the effectual work of the Spirit. 
We also are persuaded that an historical understanding 
of Old Testament prophecy is impossible apart from a 
recognition of the reality of the Divine revelations 
imparted to the prophets. 

Any person who regards the prophets simply as men 
of remarkable wisdom and piety, who sought to impart 
to the masses their peculiar religious, ethical, and 
philosophical convictions, and to gain acceptance for 


The Oingin of Messianic Prophecy. 1 5 

these in practical life, particularly in the sphere of 
politics, who, in order to this, employed, among other 
expedients, that of announcing hopes and fears, derived 
partly from their faith in a righteous Providence and 
partly from their patriotism and political sagacity, — 
any one who, in maintaining such a view, deliberately 
ignores the idea of an extraordinary operation of the 
Spirit of God upon the mind of the prophets, must be 
content to forego an understanding of the inmost 
essence of the entire historical phenomenon of Old 
Testament prophecy. For it is an undeniable fact — 
a fact attested once and again on every page of the 
prophetic writings — that the prophets themselves were 
most clearly and certainly conscious of announcing, 
not their own thoughts, but the thoughts of God 
revealed to them, — not their own words, but the word 
of God laid upon their hearts and put into their 
mouths. It is precisely this point that they emphasise 
when they distinguish themselves from false prophets. 
They claim that they are sent by God, and have 
received a definite commission to discover some secret 
of His counsel ; while the false prophets appear with- 
out Divine commission, and speak, not what Jehovah 
has spoken to them, rather only the vision of their 
own heart {chaz^ libbdm y^dhabbSru lo* mippi TaVveh)} 
They prophesy the deceit of their own heart; they 
"use their tongues, and say: He saith" (Jer. 23. 31). 

^ [For the benefit of the ordinary reader we print here, as else- 
where, the Hebrew, or, as the case may be, Greek words in Roman 
letters.— Ti:.] 

16 Messianic Propfucy, 

They are, in short — n*bMi mUlibbdm (prophets 
(speaking) from their own heart) — cp, Jer. 23. esp. 
vv. 16, 18, 21, 22, 26, 28, 31, and Ezek. 13. esp. 
vv. 2, 3, 6, 7, 17. This distinction between the true 
and the false prophet rests undoubtedly, further, on the 
clear consciousness of the former, that as the faithful 
servant of his God he keeps ever in view — ^in all that 
he utters and prophesies — ^the one object of giving 
effect to the will of God in the State and among the 
people, while the false prophets deliberately renounce 
any such task, and pander selfishly to the likings and 
passions of the people. As the principles and aims 
observable in a prophet's ministry become to others 
the standard of judgment as to whether or not he has 
really been called to his office by Jehovah, and as His 
servant been made the worthy trustee of real revela- 
tions ; so, as regards the prophet himself, his subjective 
certainty of his Divine calling is conditioned by the 
testimony of his conscience, that in his preaching and 
prophesying he is not seeking his own ends.^ But 
even this method of marking the difference between 
false and true prophets is possible only when the 
latter are most clearly conscious that their prophetic 
testimony as a whole does not proceed " from their 
own heart," and, so far from being the product of 

^ In hifl criticism of the above propositions E5nio (in loc. cU, iL 
p. 229, note) has put his own construction upon them, as if the 
meaning were that the prophet's certainty of having received Divine 
revelations was grounded solely, or at least prmcipaUy, upon the fact 
of his good conscience. His inclination to deny to the latter all 
significance in this relation is the result of his rigid snpematuralism. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 1 7 

their own reflection, wishes, hopes or fears, is in reality 
something given them by GoA Every reader of the 
prophetic writings knows that not only does almost 
every new clause commence with Wai^hi dh^bhar 
Yah^veh *elai {and the word of the Lord came unto me) 
Koh'dmar Yah'veh (thiis saith the Lord), or the like, if 
it is not closed with a 7i^'um Yah'veh {oracle of the 
Z(?rd), but also that quite commonly the personal number 
is changed, and the address is delivered directly in the 
name of God. The prophets have, moreover, not only 
the confident certainty that what they announce in the 
name of God will assuredly come to pass, but the 
prophetic word itself is in their view a power of God. 
It is a word which, so to speak, accomplishes its contents 
of itself, and that just as infallibly as the law of 
nature, whose operation it may formally include, proves 
itself no mere empty phrase, but a really present 
effective force in the physical system (cp. for example 
Jer. 1. 10, 23. 28 f., Is. 55. 10 f.). And the con- 
sciousness that they have received a definite commission 
from Jehovah exercises upon the prophets themselves 
a force so overmastering that all their own inner 
resistance to it cannot be reckoned of account (cp. 
Amos 3. 8 and esp. Jer. 20. 7-9). On the other 
hand, just here lies the power which enables them to 
face every danger with indomitable courage, and to 
fulfil their commission even when all the forces of 
king, princes, people, priests and a whole pack of false 
prophets are arrayed against them (cp. Jer. 1. 17 ff., 

20. 10 fT.). Many other passages might be cited in 


18 Messianic Prophecy, 

proof of the clear and indestructible conviction of the 
prophets that they announce only what God Himself 
has communicated to them to be announced.^ Those 
who desire to lay firm historical hold of the pheno- 
menon of Old Testament prophecy must do justice to 
this element in the prophetic consciousness. This can 
be done only by conceding to it objective validity — 
surely no difficult concession ; for one has only to 
think of such an event as the annihilation of Senna- 
cherib's host by the ** sword not of a mighty man " 
(Isa. 31. 8) to see how much there is in the coincidence 
of events with prophecies, uttered too long before them 
to be considered the result of ordinary human fore- 
sight, to convince even the most gainsaying that the 
vivid overmastering conviction of his own inspiration 

^ Jer. 28 is, among other passages, very instructive. In vor. 6 
Jeremiah distinguishes with great definiteness between the word of 
iU-omen he has to announce by commission of God and the false pro- 
phecy of Hananiah, which yet is in harmony with the patriotic wish 
of his own heart. Clearly as he knows Hananiah to be a false prophet, 
he is content in the first instance to refer the matter of the genuine- 
ness or falsity of his prophecy to the future decision of history, and 
gives no immediate answer even to Hananiah's violent confirmation 
of his false prophecy, but "goes his way " (ver. 11). Only after the 
word of God has come to him afresh, does he oppose — with emphasis 
superior even to Hananiah's — his own prophecy of evil to the latter*s 
deceptive promise of deliverance, teUs him to. his face that he is a 
false prophet, and announces his death in the course of the year in 
well-deserved punishment for his offence (Deut. 18. 20 ff.). Not less 
instructive is 2 Sam. 7. 1 ff. , where Nathan at first regards David's 
intention of building a temple as pleasing to God, and pronounces 
accordingly, but is afterwanls instructed by a special oracle in the 
night to restrain him. Cp. Oehler, art. ** Weissagung*' in Herzog's 
ReaUncyhhpadie, xvii. pp. 627 ff. ; H, Schultz, AUtestameiUliche 
Theologie, vol. i. p. 167, vol. ii. pp. 44 f. — in the 2nd edition, 
pp. 220 ff. The claims which the prophets themselves make for the 

T/te Origin of Messianic PropJiecy, 1 9 

entertained by the prophet is not without historical 
foundation.^ We therefore cordially admit the pro- 
position that the prophets received every oracle by 
Divine revelation. But that this admission canies us 
only a very little way towards an answer to our 
question as to the origin of Messianic prophecy, becomes 
obvious the moment we remark upon tlic way in which, 
aceordiuff to ths propluts themselves, the Divine comrmmi- 
cations were, as a rule, made to them. On this point, 
however, we confine ourselves — ^in conformity with our 
special aim in this treatise — to a rigidly relevant line 
of remark, and are content to refer the reader to the 
exhaustive discussions of Bertheau, and, in particular, 
of OsHLEit' In agreement with these theologians 
we must at once declare ourselves against the view 

reality of their special communion with God in revelation have been 
vindicated with the greatest success by Friedr. Ed. Konig in the 
work already referred to (esp. in vol. ii. pp. 161 if.). His view of the 
subject, however, suffers much from its literalism (see below). 

* Even Bern. Duhm, in his work, Die Theoloyie der Propheten 
als OrwuUage fitr die innere SrUwichelungsgeschichte der imraelit' 
ischen Religion (Bonn 1875), must make such an admiasion as that : 
" for fully the third of a century Isaiah was witness of the most per- 
plexing combinations of the political. sky, and on all events — except 
those of quite subordinate interest — pronounced a judgment that was 
never fallacious. Surely a great result ! " But when he adds : " The 
simple means which produced this result — the source from which the 
prophet's political wisdom flowed — was nothing more than the belief 
that Jehovah wa» directing the affairn of all nationn into the channel 
of Hijt purpose for His own people,*' the consideration, that many 
have held thb belief without being able to give an infallible judgment 
on coming events, might have convinced him that his own explana- 
tion of the " great result " is wholly insufficient. 

' Cp. Berth RAU, "Die alttestamentliche Weissagung von Israels 
Reichsherrlichkeit in seinem Lande,*' iL, in the Jahrbb, filr deutsche 
Theologie, 1859, vol. iv. pp. 603 ff. Obhleb, art "Weissagung" in 

20 Messianic Prophecy. 

that finds the essential cliaracteristic of prophetic 
inspiration in the state of ecstasy, and regards the 
7rision as the usual medium of the revelation made 
to the prophet. The principal advocate of this theory 
is Hengstenberg. The view, however, which he gives 
in the second edition of his Christology — a view greatly 
modified from that of the first edition * — is rather in 
the direction of saying that, when the prophets received 
a Divine revelation or spoke in the Spirit, they were 
by no means in a condition of unconsciousness (this 
as against Montanism ^). On the contrary, the words 
of Steinbeck might be cited as an appropriate descrip- 
tion of their state : " The inspired man not only feels 
more keenly, he thir^ks also more acutely and more 
clearly." Still their condition at such times was '' one 
most distinctly marked off from what is normal and 
ordinary." They were in a state of ecstasy. In other 
words, the sum-total of their normal faculties — sensible 
perception and desire, secular thought, aud their in- 
tellectual consciousness as a whole — was ahnormally 
repressed by a sudden overmastering operation of the 
Spirit of God upon their spirit ; while, on the other 
hand, their inner perceptions were aroused to such 
extraordinary acuteness that they imviediately saw or 
heard what God designed to reveal to them. While 

loc. cit, pp. 629 if., and Theologie de» AUtm, l^estamenteSf ii. § 205 fT. 
Also Tholi'CK, Die Propheten und ihre Wtissagungen, pp. 49 ff. 

^ Cp. Hrngstenbcrg, Christologie, iii. 2, pp. 158-217. 

^ [The generic uame for the ecstatic view of prophecy, so called from 
Montamis of PhTygia,who flourished in the middle of the second century. 
See Kurtz's Church History, § 37, also Lux Mundi, p. 343.— Tr.] 

The Origin of Messianic Propliecy. 2 1 

thej were iu this state, outward perception was entirely 
suspended ; the intellectual consciousness was over- 
powered by the spiritual, the 7wu$ by tl^e pneuma, 
yet in such a way as that the ordinary thinking 
powers, so far from ceasing to operate, were rather 
stimulated to follow the flight of the loftier and 
special faculty of intellectual intuition,^ always, however, 
at the distance which became their condition as at 
once essentistl inferiors and faithful servants of the 
faculty of inner perception. An inspiration, thus 
constituted, involves the visioTiary character of all 
prophetic apprehensions. In the state of ecstasy the 
prophets see visions, and in their utterances they 
describe only what they see in the Spirit. Hence 
the rapid movement of prophetic discourse from one 
object to another corresponds to the swift succession 
of visions before the spiritual eye. — The proofs of this 
view, in the presentation of which we have confined 
ourselves almost entirely to Hengstenberg's own 
words,* are various. They have been sought, partly 
in the familiar examples of the lowest degree of pro- 
phetic inspiration (Balaam, Saul, etc.), partly in 
isolated instances of states of ecstasy which prophets 
and apostles have experienced, partly in certain words 
and phrases which have remained in use since the 
earliest days of prophecy, when naturally the lowest 
was also the prevalent form of inspiration. Emphasis 
has been laid upon these last in spite of the fact that 

^ See Appendix A, Note I. 

2 Cp. in toe, ciU pp. 169, 173, 174, 176, 179. 181, 184. 

22 Messianic Propliecy, 

in view of the development of prophecy it is impos- 
sible to attach to them their literal etymological sense, 
and that words originally descriptive of isolated and 
extraordinary states of consciousness have as a matter 
of fact come to be used to denote the ordinary mode 
of revelation (mar'dh, ro'im, chdzim, chdzon and the 
like). The chief defect of the view is, however, just 
that it fails to distinguish with sufficient clearness 
between the different degrees aud kinds of prophetic 
inspiration, and does not consequently do justice to 
the facts. It has been well remarked that the 
prophecies of Isa. chaps. 40-66, and in general most 
of the prophecies in the books of Isaiah, Jeremiah, 
Ezekiel, Hosea, Micali, and others, neither admit of 
being described as visions seen in ecstasy, nor yet 
betray on the part of the prophets a spiritual state 
" most distinctly marked ofif from what is normal and 
ordinary." "These discourses (i.e. those in Isaiah, 
etc.) do not attest any sudden possession of the prophet 
by some overmastering force, — showing itself in 
movements and convulsions of the body, — they attest 
rather a contintious Divine operation, a subjective 
activity heightened through communion with God, 
ivhich admits of the freest use of human gifts, and the 
most perfect command of the propJut's original pou^rs 
and capacities" ^ Even Hengstenberg allows that the 
eschatological discourses of Christ, in particular those 
in Matt, chaps. 24 and 25, are genei'icaily identical with 
the Messianic utterances of the prophets. Common 

^ Gp. Berth eau in loc. cU, pp. 607 and 610. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 23 

to both is the characteristic peculiarity of oracular 
speech — that, viz., of comprehending, in a single glance 
and a continuous chain of sequence, events widely 
separated from one another in point of time. He 
grants further that the eschatological discourses are 
"by no means visionary in character, inasmuch as at 
no point in the experience of Christ can we detect 
the presence of the ecstatic state of mind ** (in loc. cit 
p. 19.3). How then can it be asserted that the 
essentially similar utterances of the prophets must 
have had their origin in Divine communications, 
involving an ecstatic condition in the prophet, and 
mediated by visions ? What on this view would be 
the mental history of those prophets for whom 
prophecy was not an event of now and then, but 
rather a life vocation, fulfilled continuously throughout 
a long series of years (cp. e.y. Jer, 25. 3)? Would 
not the mental soundness of an Isaiah or a Jeremiah 
have suffered considerably from the constant recurrence 
of those ahmormal conditions into which, according to 
this theory, the sudden and overmastering operation of 
the Divine Spirit must have thrown them ! ^ Over 

^ The whole argument of Hengstenberg is manifestly dominated by 
a dogmatic interest. His aim is to find the strongest possible 
guarantee for the reality of Divine revelation, and he would accom- 
plish his purpose by removing the psychological condition of the 
prophets as far as possible from the sphere of ordinary experience. 
But are signs and wonders requisite to guarantee the belief that th(i 
word of God is in reality Hi» word ? Granted that signs and wonders 
can serve both to awaken faith and to support weak faith, surely 
faith ought to be able to dispense with them (John 4. 48) without any 
diminution of certainty (cp. article "Zeichen und Wnnder" in my 
Dictionary of Biblical ArUiquiiics). Signs and wonders, moreover, 

24 Messianic Prophecy, 

against the proposition that ecstasy is the dominant 
characteristic of prophetic inspiration, we may, in view 
of the hints contained in the Old Testament on the 

cannot in a single instance give us the proof we desire. For visions 
are not in themselves a sufficient pledge of the supernatural origin or 
an alleged revelation. Are there not visions which prove only a 
morbid state of mind in the seer ? — Besides, Hengstenberg*s ailment 
is not free from self-contradiction. In the Jirat edition of his 
Chrutology he can-led his theory to its legitimate consequences, 
barely escaping the extreme of Montanistio error. The alterations in 
the second edition are improvements, in so far as they are more in 
accordance with the facts, but they are — at least to a considerable 
extent — out of harmony with the view that governs his main con- 
clusions. In particular, the allegation, p. 194, 'Uhat the prophets 
deal as a rule with general tnUhs, not with facts in their empirical 
isolation," hardly agrees with his main position, though it may well 
promote the tendency to resolve the distinctively historical features ot 
Old Testament prophecy into bare illustrations. In KtrPER's treat- 
ment of the subject (in loc, cU. pp. 47-57) I remark an absence of 
lucidity. He also claims for all prophecy an '* ecstatic foundation,** 
but would have us understand this phrase in a ' * wider sense. ** But to 
the question : In what sense ? he supplies only the negative answer : 
that extraordinary physical convulsions are not as a rule involved in 
prophetic inspiration. On the other hand, he allows that, with 
prophets like Isaiah and Jeremiah, besides the *' extraordinary moods 
and states of inspired possession^* there intervene calmer states ** in 
which prophecy exhibits rather the equable character of a higher 
stage of spiritual life in Israel." That even in this case their prophetic 
activity '' presupposes not only an inner certaint}' of a Divine com- 
mission, but also a state of spiritual elevation resulting from special 
experiences of Divine power and operations of the Spirit,'* and that 
'* special illumination intervened so often as it might be required by the 
prophets in the fulfilment of their vocation,** is by us at least expressly 
allowed. But it is quite another question whether these '* special 
experiences" and "special illuminations" are or are not of such a 
kind that we are at liberty to describe them as ecstatic stales^ and 
to speak of an ecstaiic foundation in all prophecy. It would appear 
that Kiiper believes himself unable to dispense with these modes of 
expression, if he is to "conserve to prophecy its properly objective 
contents as over against the active and subjective functions of con- 
sciousness," but that he comes to no clear understanding with himseU 

The Origin of Messianic Propliecy. 25 

subject of prophecy, — in view, in particular, of the pro- 
phetic writings themselves, — confidently lay down the 
following thesis : The lower the grade of prophecy, the 
more does the ecstatic condition become the normal 
one for inspiration ; whereas in the higher and riper 
stages it occurs but seldom — principally in the initial 
revelation, which constitutes the prophet's call.^ 

That thus real instances of ecstasy occur in the 
sphere of genuine prophecy, cannot obviously be 
denied. The fact that they do so is clearly attested 
both by the Old and the New Testaments. In the lowest 
kind of ecstasy the seer loses self-control : self-con- 
sciousness, and self-determination — the two essential 
elements of personality — are suspended. What one, 
so inspired, does, he does not by his own will, rather 
under the compulsion of the possessing Spirit, of Whom 
he is the unconscious, will-less instrument. Thus also 
when the state of ecstasy is past, he has no definite 
remembrance of what he has experienced. Examples 
of such ecstatic conditions lie ready to hand in what 
is told of Saul and his messengers (1 Sam. 19. 20 ff.) 
and in the New Testament tongues (1 Cor. 14). It 

AB to what precisely they imply. — Against the view of Hcngstenherg, 
cp. also KdNia in he, cii, ii. pp. 6 ff., 53 ff., 88 ff. What the latter 
remarks, ii. pp. 189 f., against my arguments, as above, results partly 
from such obvious misunderstanding, that it has seemed to roe sufficient 
to secure my meaning against such unexpected misapprehension by 
some slight verbal alterations ; but partly also his remarks are based 
upon the fanciful conception — to be explained below — which pervades 
his whole book, that an 'Miitemal " event is an 'Mmmanent" one, 
and that the ''supernatural " can be certainly guaranteed to men only 
by means of external sensible perception (see below). 
* Cp, Dahm in loc, cit, p. 8tJ, 

26 Messianic Prophecy. 

goes without saying that ecstasies of this kind — how- 
ever deep their significance and blessed their con- 
sequence may be to the religious life of those who 
experience them (cp. 1 Cor. 14. 18) — are not adapted 
to the purpose of communicating a revelation; they 
lie on thiS'Side of prophecy proper. Hence the Apostle 
Paul (1 Cor. 14) expressly distinguishes between the 
tongue-gifted, who speak only " with the Spirit," and 
those who speak " with the understanding also,'* and 
places the superiority of the latter to the former pre- 
cisely in the fact that in their case the understanding 
is exercised, and they are therefore in a position to 
edify the community by their discourse.^ But besides 
ecstatic conditions of this kind there are others, which 
are marked by no such obliteration of the prophet's 
personality. His subjectivity is shaded, but not 
paralysed; his own will can assert itself even in 
presence of the Spirit; the continuity of clear self- 
consciousness is not interrupted. What is extra- 
ordinary in such a condition is that the connexion 
between the spiritual life and the external world is 
for the time broken, the relation of reciprocity 
subsisting between self-consciousness and the sensible 
world is suspended, and the spirit is wholly engrossed 
in the active perception of an object which does not 

^ It must be remembered, moreover, that speaking with tongues did 
not by any means always involve an unconscious condition. Witness 
the case, repeatedly referred to by the apostle, in which the tongue- 
gifted possessed a parallel gift of interpretation. We must, in short, 
suppose the line which separates the lower and the higher stages of 
ecstasy to be in many conceivable ways a vanishing one. 

Tlie Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 27 

belong to the sensible world. This concentration of 
all the spiritual faculties upon a single act of inner 
perception is an effect of the overmastering Spirit, 
and may be so intensified as to include in the common 
activity — by the power of phantasy — even the sense- 
faculties of sight and hearing. In this condition, 
therefore, while the prophet enjoys clear self-conscious- 
ness (barring only the obliteration of actual external 
objects), he sees visions and hears voices.^ In such 
cases there remains, after the cessation of the ecstasy, 
a more or less clear remembrance of what has been 
seen or heard The analogy between these ecstatic 
conditions and dreams, which even the ancients*^ 
remarked, and which appears in the frequent dream- 
revelations of the Old Testament, is a perfectly 
exact one. Only in the dream the temporaiy sus- 
pension of correspondence between the spiritual life 
and the sensible world is induced by the physical 
condition of sleep, while in the state of ecstasy it is 
an effect of the Spirit — being the direct result of the 
concentration of the inner or spiritual energies upon 
the perception of an object not actually present in the 
sensible world. 

Now it must be admitted that not only the prophets 
of the Old Testament, but even the apostles,' were 
frequently at the moment of revelation in an ecstasy 
of this kind, especially in the cases in which God Him- 

^ IKorbid phenomena of this kind are what we call haUudnalions. 
> Cp. t,g, CiCEKO, de divinatione, i. 50 (113), 61 (117), 67 (129), 
30 (63). 
• Cp. t,g. Acts 10. 9 ff., 2 Cor. 12. 1 ff. 

28 Messianic Propliecy, 

self in some sensible form was brought before the 
spiritual eye, or the circumstances and fortunes of the 
people of God were represented under certain external 
symbols. True, many of the visions narrated in the 
later prophetic writings may have been but the 
fanciful dress and veil of thought ; true, in other 
instances (as, e.g,, Ezek. chaps. 1 and 40 ff.) the 
prophets may have used pictorial representation as 
a means of adding illustrative detail to the vision 
seen in the Spirit; still it remains an incontestable 
fact that even in the bloom of prophecy ecstatic 
conditions and visions were reckoned among the actual 
experiences of the prophets in the fulfilment of their 

Just as certain, however, is it that at this time 
vision and ecstasy were not the normal vehicle of 
revelation. It is only of special individual revelations 
that the prophets say that they received them by means 
of visions. Isaiah, for example, tells of only one such 
experience — that, viz., which was connected with his 
consecration and call to the prophetic office (Isa. 6), 
and only in Isa, 8.11 f., if even there, is there any 
hint of its recurrence. On the contrary, the expres- 
sions most commonly used to designate the act of 
revelation, as well as the essential character of the 
prophetic discourses and oracles, point to another 
method of Divine communication. Such phrases as 
the following may be cited : " The word of the Lord 
came unto me" (Jer. 1. 4); "The Lord said unto 
me " {id. 7) ; "I have heard of the Lord (or the like)" 





The Origin of Messianic Propliecy, 29 \ 

(Isa. 21. 10, 28. 22, Jer. 49. 14, Ezek. 3. 17, Hab. \ 

3. 2 ; n'^um Yah^veh, i.e, secret confidential coramuni- } 

cation from the Lord (literally, vjhat is whispej'ed — ^an 
appropriate description of the hollow, deadened tones 
of a voice from the world of mystery ; cp. the roots 
ncvham and hamdh), and the like. These are the most 
common phrases, and they must form our point of 
departure in any attempt we make to determine 
precisely the mode of prophetic revelation. On the 
other hand, it cannot be right to emphasise in this 
connection such comparatively unusual words as 
clulzOn and chazuth, etc., words manifestly appro- 
priate directly only to vmons, and applied only 
incidentally to prophecy in general. 

"We see thus that the usual method of prophetic 
revelation is to be understood as a hearing of the word 
of God. This is expressly allowed even by Konig 
(in loc, cit ii. p. 8 f.) when he distinguishes between 
showing and speaking, or the vision and the hearing 
of the Divine toord, as the two methods of prophetic 
revelation, and points to the former as the less 
frequent (cp. ii. p. 388). But to a much greater 
degree than Hengstenberg, or indeed any of the 
theologians who lay stress upon the supernatural ' 

character of revelation, he insists that both events 
(i.e. the seeing and the hearing) are extraordinary, 
lying wholly beyond the circle of familiar and 
ordinary experience. According to him the vimn 
of the prophet is a veritable seeing ; ix. he actually 
sees with the hodily eye, which is specially equipped 

30 Messianic Prophecy. 

for the purpose, appearances and events which, so far 
as he is concerned, God allows to transgress the limits 
of their proper sphere in the invisible world. Similarly 
his hearing of the word of God, is a veritable hearing : 
his bodily ears are mysteriously opened to hear the 
Divine speech literally and articulately sounding towards 
him from tlie other world} What therefore, according 
to tradition, happened only on rare and extraordinary 
occasions — viz. that the spoken word of God became 

* As regards the seeing^ he sUtos his view thus (ii. pp. 100 f.) : **My 
assertion is : that only a veritable seeing of phenomena, which God 
allows to meet their vision from beyond the limits of the visible world, 
could give the prophets the kind of certainty with which their visions 
inspired them, and that this seeing must be that of persons who are 
awake, and have their outer eyes open, who are in iiossession, not only 
of their self-consciousness, hut of their self-control." How much in 
eaiTiest he U over the idea that visions are "objectively real events for 
the bodily eye," such expressions as the following show (ii. pp. 126 f.). 
" Even in the case of the vision of the Macedonian in the Hdrama did 
ISm wdidH (Acts 16. 9), unless it is to be considered a mere dream or 
hallucination such as is common to men — one of the stock products of 
the factory of the imagination — there must have been a crystallising 
of ether-particles, forming to the outer eye of the waking Paul the 
image of a Macedonian;" ii. p. 132, "In order to become visible, 
heavenly things (according to ii. p. 79, ' God and the angels ') have 
often assumed a certain abnormal condensation." This condensation, 
he explains in the same passage, varies in degree. Sometimes the 
heavenly form can be seen with actual "e3'es of flesh," at other times 
the eyes must be specially opened ; ii. p. 256, "God Himself, as well 
as the spirits in His service, have for the purpose of self-manifestation 
assumed such condensations (or concentrations) of tlieir usual mode of 
being {morphea that they became visible to the prophets ; " cp. further, 
ii. p. 211. On the hearing, cp. such as the following : i. p. 82, 
" From all this we sec that the call of the prophet was external and 
ftetmble, not exposed therefore, like mere human reflection, to the risk 
of illusion ;" i. p. 87, "The question of importance is whether the 
Divine word ^Gen 12. 1) came really once upon a time sounding from 
the other world into the ear of Abraham ;" ii. p. 359, "If, according 
to all that we have said above, the subject-matter of a word-revelation 

Tlie Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 31 

outwardly audible, whether as a call from heaven or 
from some earthly habitation (Ex. 19. 19, 20. 22, 
Deut. A. 12 f. and ver. 36, cp. Gen. 21. 17, 22. 15, 
1 Sam. 3. 1 fr., 1 Kings 19. 12 fif.), and what in the 
Gospel history occurs only at isolated moments of crisis 
(Matt 3. 17, 17. 5, John 12. 28) — constituted, accord- 
ing to Konig, the normal mode of revelation to the 
prophets.^ The prophet on this view stood to God in 
precisely the same relation as a pupil, who learns by 
question and answer, or repetition by heart, stands 
to his teacher; or as a servant, who mechanically 
remembers some verbal commission, and after a longer 
or shorter interval accurately conveys it to the 
destined ear, stands to his master.^ Still Konig 
* does not regard all that the prophet spoke or wrote 
as the immediate word of God in the sense he 
has defined, but only those sentences, which they 
themselves eoyprefisly designate as sayings of God, which 
they have heard. He distinguishes therefore between 
the words of God that have come directly from Him 
without any sort of psychological medium, and the 

could have been presented to the prophet only by means of an actual 
voice reaching his ear from a sphere normally transcendent and imper- 
eeptiblc, we must further assume that these communications were, in 
form, articulate indications of the Divine will." Cp. also ii. pp. 210 
and 155 ff. 

^ In the later Jewish theology the voice descending from heaven 
(cp. Dan. 4. 81) — the so-called hath hU — is notoriously reckoned a 
kind of lesser equivalent for the revelations of prophecy and the Holy 
Spirit. Cp. on this Ferd. Weber, System der altsynagogcUen palcts- 
tinischen Theologie, Leipzig 1880, pp. 184. 187 ff. 

» Cp. Konig in loc. cit. ii. pp. 209, 219, 220. 

32 Messianic Prophecy. 

additions of the prophets from the store of their own 
knowledge or of common revelation, and attempts in 
particular instances of passages from the prophets to 
separate the two elements from each other.^ He cannot, 
however, conceal from himself the difficulties of such 
an undertaking : not only is the passage in the prophetic 
text from the Divine Speaker to the human prophet in 
many cases almost entirely imperceptible, but the utter- 
ances that are directly and exclusively assigned to God 
are, as regards their correspondence with the individu- 
ality and historical horizon and standpoint of the 
prophet, entirely of a piece with the alleged " additions." 
Konig endeavours to set aside this difficulty by adopt- 
ing from the Inspiratioji-dogmsL of the elder Protestant- 
ism the idea of an accommodation on the part of the 
revealing God to the individuality and "historical 
horizon " of the prophet, and by making the freest 
possible use of the idea of a peda^gogic adaptation of the 
Divine speech to the spiritual, and, in particular, the 
ethico-religious standpoint of his time.* "With this is 
connected, further, his admission, that the Divine message 
did not necessarily come to the prophet in the exact 
form of words and sentences in which he might deliver 

^ Kbnig in toe. cit, ii. pp. 220, 270-278, 356-359 : While he recog- 
nises the "additions" and *'embelliahments"of the prophetic writings, 
as — if not ** directly Divine," yet— "Divine human," he would have 
the detailed statements of the historical books of the Old Testament — 
among others, those concerning the prophets— examined according to 
the tests applied to the prophets' own testimony, and with reference 
to the question whether or not in the tradition human chaff has been 
mixed with the genuine Divine gi*ain. See Appendix A, Note II. 

2 Konig in he. cU. ii. pp. 209, 218 f., 307, 312 f., 348, 3,56, 363 ff., 397. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 33 

it; but that, on the contrary, we must recognise the exer- 
cise on the part of the prophet of a relative freedom in 
such merely formal respects.^ The futility of such a 
make-shift will, we should suppose, be obvious to most. 
It cannot serve to conceal the essential incongruity of 
Konig's rigidly obscurantist view of the mode of 
Divine revelation to the actual facts of the case as 
presented in the prophetic writings. The hypothesis 
of an accommodation of Divine revelation to the indi- 
viduality of the prophet and the mental capacity of 
his hearers, is not inconsistent with the doctrine of the 
Inspiration of Scripture hy the Hdy Spirit, and so long 
as it was only, or mainly, a question of how to explain 
observed diflferences of style in the prophetic writings, 
and other matters relating only to the form of presenta- 
tion (i,e, up to the latter half of last century), one could 
at least hope to find in it a sufficient guide through the 
perplexities of our subject. But to require us to believe 
in a literal Divine voice sounding in the ears of the 
prophet is surely a romantic caricature.* And if we 
consider the far-reaching consequences of the praise- 
worthy candour with which Konig allows the stamp of 
the prophet's individuality and historical limitations to 
adhere to the word of God as communicated to him, 
and remember the free use it necessarily led him to 
make of what is at best a precarious hypothesis, it 
cannot surprise us that he himself should have been 
staggered and confused by the intricacies of his own 
reasoning. Of such a result we actually find some 

* Konig in loc, cU, ii. pp. 861, 864. ' See Appendix A, Note III. 


34 Messianic Prophecy, 

traces towards the end of his work (see below). His 
own idea, of course, was that his hypothesis was neces- 
sary to justify the claims the prophets made for them- 
selves. Closer investigation, however, tends to the 
discovery that no such necessity lies in the prophets' 
own account of their inspiration, but only in Konig's 
literalistic interpretation of their words, and that this, 
again, is chiefly the consequence of the gross sen- 
sationalism involved in the idea that dominates his 
argument We mean the idea that only an act of 
external perception can form the basis of a certainty as 
to the objective reality of an event that shall exclude 
every doubt and possibility of illusion, and that there- 
fore a " truly objective kind of Divine communication " 
can be only one that is external and sensible — capable, 
i.e., of being perceived through the bodily senses of sight 
and hearing.^ We refrain from investigating more 

^ K5NI0 in loc, cU. i. p. 82, " From all this we see that the call of 
the prophet was extemcU and sensible, not exposed therefore, like mere 
human reflection, to the risk of illusion ;" L p. 100, '^What then, 
shall we say, must have happened in the spiritual experience of the 
prophet to produce an indubitably " recognisable ** '* call of God " ? i. 
p. 3, ''If the prophets were conscious of some specially qualifying 
cooperation of the Divine Spirit with theirs as the only Divine factor 
of their prophetic knowledge, a discrimination on their part between 
their own subjectivity and the Divine thoughts would not have been 
reliable, or even possible;** ii. p. 101, "Otherwise (t.«. apart from 
bodily eyesight) they would have had no certainty that they were not 
following after what they have not seen (Ezek. 13. 3), what had come 
from their own heart, what they had themselves imagined ; '* iL p. 
126, "No other * inner sense' is discoverable, which should prove 
itself different from thinkmg; from phantasy, I f thinking and phantasy 
had been employed by the prophets as the means of perception, tliey 
could not have been convinced of the objective reality of what they 
saw;" iL p. 160, ''It is my fixed conviction that the moment we 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 35 

closely the SenscUionalistic ^ view of knowledge involved 
in such an opinion, the more so, that Konig does not 
seek to found his view upon abstract principles. We 
simply set over against it the contrary axiom express- 
ing our own conviction : thcU God who is spirit is aile 
to reveal and communicate Himself to the human spirit 
immediately — loUhout, i.e., the mediation of external 
sense-perception, and that this revelation is of a " trvly 
objective kind," carrying wUh it a certainty that excludes 
all do^cbt. On the other hand, we cannot escape the 
task of examining more minutely the personal testi- 
mony of the prophets. How are we to conceive their 
hearing of the word of God t What are we to say of 
the supports which Konig found in this and other like 
phrases for his own view ? 

Of first importance here is the point which we have 
already emphasised (pp. 16 f.), and which is treated at 
length by Konig as the third principal utterance of the 
prophets regarding their own inspiration (ii. pp. 161- 
366) — we mean the clear and certain consciousness 
of genuine prophets that the Divine word which they 
announce does not originate mUlibbdm (from their own 
heart) like the alleged oracles of the false prophets, 
but has been really communicated to them by God. 

reject the transcendental standpoint and the truly objective method 
of Divine revelation, the endeavour to uphold the Divine authorship 
(hence also the Divine subject-matter) of the prophetic deliverances 
becomes vain;" ii. p. 181, **An 'inner act of consciousness' is too 
precarious a foundation for such an edifice as the prophetic certainty." 
1 [The closest possible equivalent for the German getmtaWttitch, 
though the latter is perhaps hardly used in the same technical 
sense. — Tu.] 

36 Messianic Prophecy, 

So far we can heartily agree with Konig in saying that, 
according to the testimony of the prophets them- 
selves, they received their communications "from 
without inwards : *' * they do not proceed from within 
the prophet himself, but from God, whom the prophet 
knows as a Person, distinct from, and not dwelling 
in himself — standing in " truly objective reality " 
over against his own ego, yet actually conversing 
with him. We must beware, however, of resting 
on this consciousness of the prophets a heavier weight 
of inference than it can bear. Konig makes this 
mistake when he infers from it a denial on the 
part of the prophets *' that their prophetic cognitions 
were worked into form in the human soul, or took 
shape under the ordinary processes of judgment and 
inference, or the influence of human feelings and 
motives " (in loc, cit ii. p. 1 74). For the expression 
millibbdm, as used of the false prophets, and the con- 
sciousness of the genuine prophets that their word of 
prophecy does not originate millibbdm, relate only — 
be it said, in the first place — to the source of the 
oracle, not to the mode of its communication to the 
prophet In reference to the latter point, it leaves just 
as much room for mediation to the transaction that 
belongs to the inner sphere and domain of the spirit 
as to that which belongs to the outer world of sense. 
It does not make the slightest difference that in the 

^ OfooTine, however, ''without" here is not to be made synonymous 
with the external world of sense-perception. Yet only on the basis of 
such a confusion of terms would it be possible to assert that a " recep- 
tion from without" must be one mediated by external sense-perception. 

Tlis Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 3 7 

former case the medium is purely psychological, while 
in the latter it is external sense-perception ; whence, 
secondly, it appears that such expressions as mUlibbam 
and lo* mUHhbanu ^ refer throughout essentially only to 
the corUents of the Divine message, not to its outtit in 
form and mode of presentation. In the end, even Konig 
himself is constrained to admit so much, for He says (in 
loc. cit ii. p. 362): "If we base our conclusions solely 
upon the testimony of the prophets themselves, we can- 
not affirm that the phrase ' not from our own heart ' 
signifies : Our heart takes no part in the formal shaping 
of the report we give of the revelation. On the con- 
trary, the prophets intend, in what we have called their 
third principal utterance, only to uphold the Divine 
originality and integrity of their message as against 
adversaries. The phrase is neither designed nor fitted 
to prove anything contrary to the proposition that the 
receivers of revelation have woven Divine threads after 
a Divine pattern into a Divine-human web." And 
this admission does not— as might be supposed from 
the last words — relate merely to the prophets' own 
additions, but also to what is expressly designated as 
the Divine speech; for, according to ii. p. 361, it can- 
not be concluded from the personal testimony of the 
pi*ophet8 " that the Divine word - revelation must 
have been formulated in all its words and sentences 
precisely as it is reproduced in the deliverances of the 

In the various other expressions used to denote the 

^ Not from our own heart. 

38 Messianic Prophecy. 

Divine revelation made to the prophets, there lies, as 
in the to' millihbimt, already noticed, in various forms 
but always with the same import, the general concep- 
tion that the Divine word is received as something pro- 
ceeding from God and presented by Him — something, 
therefore, received " from without inwards ; " and, as 
the revealing God as a Person stands over against the 
person of the prophet, it is only natural that the 
expressions most commonly used to describe the rela- 
tion between God and the prophet should be borrowed 
from tlie customary formx of immediate interco^irse 
between person and person. It is by speaking and 
hearing that human persons interchange thought and 
spiritual experience in general. Similarly, God speaks 
and the prophet hears. It ought, however, to be un- 
derstood, as a matter of course, that things similarly 
described are not necessarily similar to each other. 
It cannot be assumed without proof that the inter- 
course of God with a prophet is quite the same in kind 
with the intercourse of men among themselves. In 
particular, it cannot be assumed that this intercourse 
is mediated by external sense - perception. Every 
Israelite knew that God was not a Person who belonged 
to the external, sensible world, and that, therefore, 
when He was spoken of in human terms the phrases 
could not be understood in quite the ordinary sense.^ 

' The following remark of Konig's is mildly characterised as very 
ill-considered (ii. p. 179, note 3): "How can Jeremiah's frequent 
phrase, 'And Jehovah said unto me ' (1. 7, etc.), be made to bear any 
other meaning than, e.g,, 'Hanameel said unto me '(32. 8) f To 
give different senses to the same words remains for ever an ezegetical 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 39 

The prophets, therefore, could employ the common 
phrases of human intercourse to denote the intercourse 
between God and the prophets, without intending to 
say that the Divine speech was addressed to them in 
an externally audible way. The essential thing they 
wish to express is, that there has been a communication 
from a Person to a person ; and this by no means 
excludes the possibility that the communication is one 
only internally audible, taking place in the domain of 
the spirit, and not in the sensible world. Similarly, 
a non-sensible mode of communication is by no means 
excluded by the fact that, in some individual instances, 
the prophets declare that they have heard the Divine 
word " with their ears" (Isa. 5. 9, 22. 14, Ezek. 3.. 10, 
9. 1. 5, 40. 4, 44. 5), although Konig urges the con- 
trary with special vehemence (in loc. dt, pp. 158, 179, 
note 3, 181). For even if in these cases the phrase, 
"with mine ears," were to be taken with absolute 
literalness, we should not be justified in inferring a 
general rule from isolated cases,^ in which sensible per- 
ception may have had part in the reception of the 
revelation. And if the word "hear" is, by a trope 
undeniably legitimate, used in a sense not strictly 
literal, it is hard to see why " to hear with the ears " 
might not be intended in a sense other than literal. 

impossibility." Moreover, he contradicts himself by regarding, e,g,, 
the expression, "Jehovah said unto me/' in Isa. 86. 10, 2 Kings 
18. 25, as not implying Divine speech in the proper sense (cp. ii. 
pp. 289 if., in general, pp. 239-261). 

^ It is a violent and unwarranted exaggeration on the part of Konig 
(ii. p. 181) to affirm that the prophets were "constantly" saying, 
*' We have heard it with the ears." 

40 Messianic Prophecy. 

It is, in fact, nothing more than a way of adding 
impressive emphasis to the simple " hear " (cp. Ps. 

44. ly 

But, besides all this, there is no lack of definite 
indications that, by their use of the expressions bor- 
rowed from intercourse between human pereons, the 
prophets did not intend to express an audible speech 
of God, or a hearing with the bodily ear. God must 
mvaJcen Qi^ir '(52^'?i=arouse the ear), or open (patJiach 
'oz — ), or discover-to (ffdldh *oz — ) (Isa. 50. 4 f. ; 1 Sam. 
9. 15) the ear of His servant, so that he hear the 
Divine word. What else can this mean than that God 
opens and sets in activity the spiritual ear, or the 
faculty of inner perception adapted to supersensible 
communications ? ^ Further, besides the usual dibber 
W (to speak to\ there is employed, to denote the speech 

^ K5nig cannot mean to deny that the bodily ears are not meant in 
every instance of the use of the phrase in question (cp. Isa. 6. 10). He 
does not, we should think, propose to understand literally the phrases 
in which Ezekiel describes the opening of hU motUh and the eating of 
the book-roll (£zek. 3. 1-3). Why then insist that, in such phrases as 
lifting up the eye^ or hearing with the ears, the bodily eyes and ears 
must be meant (Konig, ii. pp. 39 f., 75 f.) t 

'^ Konig (in loe, cit, ii. p. 179, note 8) declares such an interpreta- 
tion impossible, and insists on understanding even these expressions 
only of a special equipment and quickening of the bodily sense of 
hearing. So correspondingly (and here he is partly right) with the 
opening or uncovering of the eyes. But surely bodily hearing is just as 
little meant in the passages he quotes as in Job 83. 16, 36. 15, and 
Isa. 48. 8. The expression gdldh *6zen is indeed sometimes used of 
communication by means of ordinary sensible speech (1 Sam. 20. 2, 
also Yv. 12 and 13, 22. 8. 17, Ruth 4. 4) ; but even in these passages *dzhi 
does not directly signify the bodily ear. On the contrary, the expres- 
sion is borrowed from the language of revelation (cp. 2 Sam. 7. 27, 
1 Chron. 17. 25), and signifies the revelation of something hitherto 
concealed. The mere fact of the constant use of the singular number 

The Origin of Messianic Proplucy, 41 

of God or an angel to the prophet, the phrase dibher 
V (to speak in)} which does not, of course, mean to 
speak IN a person^ but is at the same time not perfectly 
synonymous with the word for simple address. It is a 
phrase of more express import, being employed only of 
a revealed communication, and denoting that what is 
communicated is, as it were, spoken into the person 
addressed.^ I am not inclined to lay any special stress 
upon the fact that, in Ezek. 3. 10, the command, 
"All my .words receive into thine heart," Recedes 
** and hear with thine ears " (cp. 44. 5, and, for the con- 
trary order, 40. 4), or that, according to Jer. 20* 9, the 
word of God is in the heart of the prophet, consuming 
him like fire if he would forbear to speak, though it 
certainly warns us against an exaggerated literalism 
in the interpretation of the familiar lo* millibbinu. 
But by the fact that they employ other phrases than 
hearivg, or hearing vjith the ears, to denote their inward 
reception of the Divine word, or, generally, its com- 

ia the expressions in question suffices to indicate that the bodily ears 
are not meant In passages like Ps. 40. 6, where, besides the higher 
and principal meauiDg, there is meant to be at least an accompanying 
reference to what is literal, the plural form, *oznaifim is used. 

1 Cp. Hos. 1. 2, Hab. 2. 1, Zech. 1. 9. 13. 14, 2. 2. 7, 4. 1. 4. 5, 
5. 5. 10, 6. 4, Num. 12. 6. 8, 2 Sam. 23. 2. 

^ Konig (in loc. cU. ii. p. 178 ff.) has mistaken the special signifi- 
cance of the phrase. It is never used of the speech of one human 
being to another (1 Sam. 25. 89 cannot, in spite of Gesenius, be 
translated '' he spoke to Abigail," but " he spoke about Abigail" (i.f. 
with a view to secure her in marriage) ; cp. Ps. 119. 46). For this the 
only properly corresponding phrase is dibber b^ *ozni (to sp«'ak in the 
pare of). We have not adduced the passages Num. 12. 2 and 1 Kings 
22. 28 in note 1 (above), because it is doubtful whether dibber b* does 
not there mean to tpeak by or through. 

42 Messianic Prophecy. 

nmnication,the prophets indicatcclearly howfar it is from 
their intention to represent the word of God as sensibly 
sounding in their ears. Thus, e.ff,, the word of God is 
described as meat or as a written roll, which the prophet 
must eat (Jer. 15. 16, Ezek. 2. 8, 3. 2 f.); or it is^^ 
irUo the mouth of the prophet (Num. 23. 5. 16, Deut. 
18. 18, Jer. 1. 9) ; or the prophet sees it and God shows 
it to him (Jer. 38. 21, Ezek. 11. 25, Hab. 2. 1 f., Isa. 
2. 1, Am. 1. 1). The very fact that the phrase, 
And it came to pa^ th/it the word of Jehovah came unto, 
etc. — a phrase by no means common as descriptive of 
audible speech between human persons ^ — is that most 
commonly and with preference employed by the pro- 
phets to denote a Divine communication, can be ex- 
plained satisfactorily only by the supposition that the 
Divine speech, unlike human speech, is not heard with 
the outer ears. Finally, we have express testimony 
that it is the Spirit of God who not only efiTects the 
hithndbhe' (the prophetic gift), and in particular 
qualifies the prophet to speak in the name of Jehovah, 
and to announce His counsel and will,^ but is also the 
communicating medium of the Divine word. Thus in 
Isa. 30. 1 f. the intimation proceeding from Jehovah, 
or from His mouth (ver. 2), is likewise thought of as 
proceeding from His Spirit ; in Ezek. 11. 5, the pro- 
position. He {Jehovah) spake to me, is annexed to the 
preceding, The Spirit of Jehovah fell upon me ; Zech. 

1 Num. 11. 26 ff., 1 Sam. 10. 6. 10, 19. 20 ff., Joel 2. 28 f. 
* Isa. 48. 16, 59. 21, 61. 1, Micah 3. 8, 1 Chron. 12. 18, 2 Chron. 
15.1 f., 20. 14 flf., 24. 20. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 43 

7. 12 is an express statement of the Spirit's mediation, 
Tlie words which Jehovah Sabaoth hath sent throvgh (6*) 
His Spirit by means of Qfyadh) the former prophets ; 
cp. also Neh. 9. 30, and Thou gavest them witness 
through thy Spirit hy means of Thy prophets. Further, 
the words of the false prophet Zedekiah, Which icay 
went the Spirit of Jehovah from me to speak unto thee f 
(1 Kings 22. 24, 2 Chron. 18. 23) show that the 
speech of Jehovah and the speech of the Spirit of Jehovah 
are synonymous expressions; and, finally, it appears 
from 2 Sam. 23. 2 f., whether we render the Mof ver. 2 
hy to me or by through me, and whether in the former 
case we understand a revelation made directly to David 
himself or one mediated by Nathan, that the com- 
munication of the Divine word to David was mediated 
by the Spirit of Jehovah.^ 

We have thus good ground for describing the ordi- 
nary mode of revelation as one that implies, on the 
side of God, a pecular inward speech [Mnsprache= 
literally, a speaking into, as if what the prophet 
spoke otU had first to be conveyed in, — Tk.] mediated 
by His Spirit, and on the side of the prophet a cor- 
responding psychical operation of inward hearing,^ 

1 Konig (in loe, eit, I pp. 104-114, 141-144) aUows to the Spirit of 
Ood only a preparatory work — that of qualifying the prophet to receive 
the Divine message, and urging him to prophetic utterance. In Zech. 
7. 12 antl Neh. 9. 80, he would have us understand an ** objective 
Spirit of God," "a second Divine Being** alongside of Jehovah, an 
" objective Middle-Being between Jehovah and the prophet," who is 
the medium of bringing the word, which Jehovah Himself speaks, to 
the ear (!) of the prophet. « 

' We prefer these phrasoe to the common description employed, e.g.^ 

44 Messianic Prophecy, 

This inward speech, however, and the correlative 
hearing, we shall require, as a rule, to conceive of as 
simply a certainty as to the will and counsel of God 
lorought immediateli/ in the spirit of the prophet by the 
SpiHt of God} It is a certainty that has not come to 
him by way of reflection, or, in general, by any usual 
mode of original activity. The prophets are clearly 
conscious that it is something given them by God, that 
they are receiving His commands and decrees just as 
really as a trusted servant hears from the lips of his 
master what is that master's will and intention. The 
stage of the mysterious transaction is not indeed the 
sensible world, but neither is it the mere subjectivity of 
the prophet We must insist rather that there is an 
actual converse of the living personal God with the 
person of the prophet* On the other hand, this in- 

by Oehlbr (art. ** Wei88agung,"p. 636, Theologie dee AltenTestamentes, 
ii. pp. 187 fr.), according to which the psychical activity of the prophet 
is represented as an invfard or itnmedicUe intuition — a phrase with 
which conceptions alien to the true state of the case readily associate 
themselves. Sec, in particular, the misleading remarks of VOK Orrlli 
(in loc, eit, p. 39) on the ttcenographic character of prophecy. If an 
'' intuition" mean only that ''the subject knows the object as imme- 
diately given and not produced by hia own activity," no objection can, 
of course, be made to the use of the word. Neither is it to be denied 
that prophetic knowledge — speciaUy if it relate to the future course of 
history — has in many respects an '* intuitive character,*' inasmuch as 
it is rather the prophet's faculty of imagination than his understand- 
ing or reason that is employed in the reception of the Divine com- 
munication, and, consequently, his peculiar knowledge emerges to 
consciousness in the form of intuition. (See below, and cp. Studien u. 
Kritiken, Jahrg. 1883, pp. 805 f.) 

1 Cp. H. ScHULTZ in loc, cit, i. pp. 173 f., ii. pp. 46 f. In the 2nd 
ed. pp. 227 f., 232 f. 

» What right has K6nio (in loc. cit. i. pp. 78, 82, 88, ii. p. 155) 
to presuppose the im{)ossibility of such inuxird as.surance or of such 

The Origin of Messianic Propliecy. 45 

wardly assuring operation of the Spirit of God upon 
the spirit of the prophet cannot take place arbitrarily. 
There must be law and method. Man's spiritual 
experience is governed by a Divinely-established order, 
which is neither suspended nor disturbed by the opera- 
tion of the Spirit of God. Even though this operation 
be of transemdent origin, it is accomplished in a 
manner conformable to the established order, and yet 
is not on that account, as Konig contends (e,g, iL 
139 f., 224 e/ passim), reduced to a merely " immanent " 
process.^ In other words : Although the inner assur- 
ance of God's will and counsel does not originate in 
the sphere of the subjective spiritual life, it comes to 
pass only in conformity with the laws proper to that 
sphere — albeit the operation of these laws appears 
only in an act of reception. It is therefore psychologi- 
cally mediated.^ It must not be supposed, moreover, 

wpiritwU intercourse between God and an inhabitant of the visible 
world, or to deny, in particular, that a valid certainty as to his call may 
reach the prophet at a particular time and place ? 

^ Cp. Rothb's detailed treatment of the relation of miracle to the 
order of nature {Zur DogmcUik, pp. 87 ff. ). 

' That them propositions cannot be attested by express citations 
from the prophets, forms no valid ground of objection to them. Konig's 
conception of an accommodation on the part of God to the individu- 
ality of the prophet is, as he himself allows (ii. p. 864), equally 
destitute of this kind of confirmation. It also is of the nature of a 
retrospective theory, based, indeed, on a proper appreciation of the 
facts of prophetic discourse as known to us, still manifestly going 
beyoml the utterances of the prophets, and even beyond the explicit 
contents of the prophetic consciousness as a whole. And, in place of 
the idea of an external ctccommodtUion, it is in my judgment more 
credible and more in conformity with the facts to say that God has 
condescended to exercise His revealing grace in a way that perfectly 
corresiH>nds vi ith the laws of man's spiritual life. 

46 Messianic Prophecy. 

that the cooperation of the prophet's original powers 
involved in this act of reception is by any means 
necessaiily of an unusual kind, transcending the 
ordinary processes of the spiritual life after the 
manner of an ecstasy or any similar state. The 
object of the inner prophetic certainty will indeed 
not unfrequently emerge to the prophet's consciousness 
in the plastic form of an intuition. This will be the 
case in proportion as the prophet's powers of imagina- 
tion — what we may call his phantasy — are roused to 
activity. And if there be an excessive concentration 
of the spiritual powers upon this intuition, the stage of 
ecstasy, accompanied by the ecstatic visions of an ex- 
cited phantasy, may be reached. But this is not by 
any means what is usual or ordinary, nor does the 
transaction as a whole, mysterious as it is in itself, 
stand apart as a perfectly isolated phenomenon. Two 
analogies from the sphere of religious experience may 
be of special service in bringing it nearer our compre- 
hension. The one is the way in which to this day 
every living conviction of religious faith, every Chris- 
tian truth that is recognised as carrying its own cer- 
tainty with it, is arrived at. Even such a conviction 
is assuredly not the product of reflection, — however 
much reflection may be exercised in connexion with it, 
— nor does it proceed purely from a man's own sub- 
jectivity in general It is attained rather in every 
single instance through a revealing operation of Grod ; 
it is impossible apart from a certainty as to saving 
truth wrought immediately by the Spirit of God — 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 47 

apart, in fact, from the so-called testimonium internum 
Spiritus Saneti, " Flesh and blood hath not revealed 
it unto thee, but mj Father which is in heaven." So 
said the Lord to Peter when he uttered the confession : 
"Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God" 
(Matt. 16. 17, cp. also 11. 25, and 1 John 2. 27). 
Now, it is undoubtedly to an essentially similar mode 
of revelation that we mast refer the main portion of 
the contents of the prophetic writings. This is speci- 
ally true of those passages where tlie only concern of 
the prophet is to obtain due recognition for the will of 
Grod as known from the law, to bring to mind the 
fundamental truths of the Old Testament creed, to 
apply them to certain definite circumstances, to develop 
extensively and intensively recognised religious axioms 
or the like. To this domain belongs a very large portion 
of the contents of Messia?iic prophecy. The analogy 
between the mode of revelation to the prophets and 
the inward assurance of saving truth effected by the 
Spirit, is the more perfect from the fact that in both 
cases (if we may anticipate a later inference of our 
argument) the operation of the Spirit is indissolubly 
connected with the con^elative operation of the Divine 
word, attested orally or in writing. It is well known 
how frequently a prophet's discourse connects itself 
with and grows out of that of his predecessors. It 
might, of course, be objected that this line of remark 
fails to do justice to the specific character of prophetic 
discourse. It might be urged, in particular, that the 
Old Testament teacher of wisdom must be to a like 

48 Messianic Prophecy. 

extent credited with a Spirit-wrought certainty as to 
religious and ethical truth. He also, it might be said, 
wishes to communicate to others and make practically 
valid the convictions thus attained; and yet nowhere 
within the compass of the didactic poetry of the Old 
Testament do' we find the authors sounding the pecu- 
liar note of prophecy. They do not enforce their 
precepts, exhortations, and warnings as a "ivord spoken 
hy God Himself to their hearers or readers. They 
have not that full consciousness of speaking in the 
name and commission of Jehovah, which would war- 
rant in their text that transition to the direct speech 
of God which is so frequent in the prophetic writings.^ 
This very obvious difiTerence, however, arises from the 
fact that the prophet is conscious of a special call 
addressed to him, in virtue of which he has been con- 
stituted an organ of Jehovah, an interpreter of the 
Divine will, a bearer of the continuous revelation of 
God to His people, and has been above others entrusted 
by God with a definite mission to his contemporaries, 
whereas the teacher of wisdom is conscious only of 
the general call — the property of every man who finds 
himself in possession of a truth — not to keep his 
treasure to himself, but to make it available for others 
also. The latter does not, like the prophet, feel im- 
pelled to utterance of his doctrines and precepts by 

^ The perception of this diiference has given rise to the well-known 
Rabbinical doctrine that the prophetic writings were inspired by the 
Buaeh Hann*hhu*dh (the Spirit of Prophecy), whereas the Hagiographa 
resulted only from the general and commoner inspiration of the Rwich 
Hakkodhesh (the Spirit of Holiness). 

The Origin of Messianie Prophecy. 49 

the conviction that the existing state of affairs demands 
from him the immediate fulfilment of a perfectly 
definite duty of his calling, laid upon him by God. 
Naturally also the word of the wise man will be to a 
much greater extent than that of the prophet a product 
of original reflection ; it will emerge to his own con- 
sciousness as such, and as the fruit of his life-experi- 
ence; and this, even although the truth he utters 
receives the seal of the Spirit of God. It is different 
with the prophet To him, in his consciousness of his 
special Divine mission, the truth, of which the Spirit 
of God has assured him, will always appear as a word 
that God has given him at the moment, that in these 
tlefinite circumstances he may fulfil the trust of his 
calling. We require thus only to keep in view the 
prophet's conciatisness of his peadiar vocation to see 
that the specific quality of prophetic discourse, as 
regards the points noticed above, is satisfactorily 
explained as the result of an assurance wrought im- 
mediately by the Spirit of God, and perfectly similar 
in kind to the testvnwnium internum Spiritus Sancti, 
as to what in a particular ease is to he announced as 
t/te will and purpose of God} 

Of course, however, this consciousness of vocation 

' Similar is the case of the man who hayiog, apart from tlie poesi- 
bility of much reflectioD, spoken the right word in difficult circnm- 
Ktauces or at critical moments in fulfilment of his official or Christian 
duty, declares from the depths of his consciousness : Jt was givtn me, 
Kbuig's objection to this analogy (ii. p. 196, note) is off the point, for, 
of course, the prophet's consciousness of his vocation adds something 
specific to the bare certainty that the word has been given him by 


50 Messianic Prophecy, 

could not be present to the mind of the prophet with 
such extraordinary force were not special revelations 
vouchsafed to him, such as God does not grant to 
every spiritual man, but only to the prophet. True 
as it is that the business of the prophet is not 
primarily to foretell the future, the strength of his 
consciousness of a Divine mission is hardly conceiv- 
able apart from the experimental certainty that 
Jehovah reveals His counsels to His prophets as to 
trusted servants, and that they therefore have above 
all others an anticipatory knowledge of the future. 
Apart from this, indeed, prophetic discourse would 
lack the very element necessary to vindicate to their 
contemporaries the claim of the prophets to be the 
ambassadors of God.^ But even for the subjective 
Divinely-wrought assurance of the prophet as to the 
counsel of God for the future we have a perfectly 
exact analogue in the domain of religious experience.^ 
I refer to assurance of answer to prayer, in particular 
to cases in which the prayer relates to matters belong- 
ing either wholly or in part to the domain of the 
outer life. Such assurance also is not reflective, nor 
indeed in any sense a product of the human spirit. 
Like the prophetic certainty, it is immediately wrought 
in the spirit of the petitioner by the Spirit of God, 

^ Cp. my remarks in Stud, u, KrU. 1872, pp. 558 ff. ; Kijpeh in he, 
cit. pp. 442 f. 

' The analogy is noted also by Oehler, art *' Weissagnng/* p. 
639, Theologie dta Alien Testamentes, ii. § 211. I may be allowed 
to remark that the suggestion to make use of it did not reach me first 
through Oehler. 

The (h^n of Messianic Prophecy. 5 1 

und comes to his consciousness as an answer vouch- 
safed him by the living God, to Whom he has spoken. 
The certainty of the true petitioner that he has 
received the answer from God Himself — that it is no 
mere imagination, but rather an experience as real 
and matter-of-fact as any outward occurrence — is just 
as indubitable, and shows itself just as powerful and 
effective, as the certainty of the prophet — perfectly 
similar to it in kind and origin — that God has spoken 
to him. We all know how in the Psalms, in con- 
sequence of an inward assurance of an answer from 
God, the language of the bitterest complaint and most 
imploring entreaty passes frequently into that of most 
joyful confidence, even of exulting praise of the Divine 
grace. Sometimes this transition is so remarkable 
that to those whose standpoint does not admit of their 
doing justice to the true inner essence of prophecy, it 
seems explicable only on the assumption that already 
the deliverance from distress, or at least a change for 
the better in the position of the suppliant, has inter- 
vened.* Experiences of certainty as to answer to 
prayer, which cannot be brought under suspicion as 
"so called," or even as products of "religious con- 
fusion," ^ might be cited from ancient and from modem 
times. It may suffice, however, only to call to mind 
the answer which the Apostle Paul received to his 
thrice - uttered entreaty ; * and the confidence with 

^ Cp. Hitzig, Die PMlmen, i. p. 128. 

' ** Religioser YerimiDg," Konig, ii. pp. 200 f. 

« 2 Cor. 12. 8 f. 

52 Messianic Fropheey. 

which Peter, after prayer, called to the dead Tabitha : 
" Tabitha, arise." ^ Oehler very justly reminds us that 
this analogy deserves the more attention from the fact 
that the intercourse of the prophet with God during the 
process of revelation is not unfrequently represented 
as, properly speaking, a prayer-intercourse,^ that prayer 
is even named as the condition of revelation,^ and that 
correspondingly the word 'dndh (answered) is employed 
to denote the answer to prayer, which consists of a 
revelation made to the prophet* 

The gift of prayer is a common gift of grace ; never- 
theless, there are isolated instances of petitioners who 
possess a special charisma, or grace -endowment, in 
virtue of which they frequently enjoy, even while they 
pray, an inward assurance regarding the granting or 
refusal, even of petitions that relate only to the 
external life.^ Similarly the assurance as to what is 
contained in the secret counsel of God, which the 

1 Acts 9. 40. • Jer. 82. 16 ff., 42. 4, Hab. 1. » Jer. 83. 2 f. 

* Jer. 23. 85. 87, 88. 8, Micah 3. 7, Hab. 2. 2. 

^ Konig's polemic against our use of the above analogy (in loc, cit. ii. 
pp. 196 ff. ) rests almost entirely upon a misunderstanding. He supposes 
us to affirm that the possession of assurance of answer to prayer tmlIcm 
the possessor a prophet. His description, moreover, of such assurance 
as originating entirely in the human heart, as "only the creation of 
the praying soul/* only "a conscious or unconscious inference from 
the general to the particular in the matter of saving assurance," some- 
thing, therefore, that belongs entirely to the sphere of mere subjectivity, 
forces one to asK, Where in this view is his faith in the living God ? 
The fact is, that just as there are different degrees of certainty in regard 
to the answer of prayer, so there are, according to circumstances, 
different degrees in the inward certainty of a prophet as to whether or 
not the word that has come to him be really the word of Jehovah (cp. 
Jer. 82. 6-8). Of course, however, he can announce it only after he 
has attained full certainty. 

The Oiigin of Messianic Proplucy. 53 

Spirit of God effects la the prophet, presupposes a 
special charisma. This charisma has, however, a basis 
in nature. In the case alike of the prophet and the 
exceptional petitioner, it is communicated by an opera- 
tion of the Spirit of God, which sanctifies and sub- 
limates the foGidty of presentimeTU in the human soul, — 
a faculty which is unquestionably possessed by some 
individuals in an exceptionally high degree, and attains 
the closest resemblance to the prophetic charisma 
when it is roused to activity by the force of deep 
ethical convictions.^ 

If this be a correct description of the regular mode 
of revelation to the prophets, it becomes clear, in the 
first place, how completely a normal ethico-rdigious 
attitude on tlie part of the prophet to God is an 
essential prerequisite to the proper exercise of his 
gift.* For, as we have remarked above, it is precisely 
the ethico-religious character of a would-be prophet's 
work which must decide the question whether he has 
really received revelations from God, or whether his 
claims are fictitious. Even the prophet's own certainty 
that he is announcing the word of God is conditioned 
by the testimony of his conscience that this is what 
he is honestly setting his will to do (see above, 
p. 16). Hence it is, secondly, that in presenting 
truths of which he has been assured by the Spirit of 

^ For a detailed treatment of the natnral basis of the chdrisma pro- 
phittUu, see Tholuck in loc. cU. pp. 1 if., and the passages there cited. 
Konig*s objections to the concluding sentence above result from gross 
misinterpretation (in loe, cU, ii. pp. 201 f.). 

' Cp. on this Oeulsb, art " Weissagung/' pp. 689 t 

54 Messianic Prophecy, 

God, the specific mental characteristics of the prophet 
must make themselves fully perceptible. For such 
an assurance cannot even enter the prophet's con- 
sciousness unless there be some preliminary correspond- 
ence between the operation of the Spirit of God and 
the receptive activity of the human spirit, which 
assimilates the impression made by the Spirit by 
transforming it into the form of thought or intuition. 
A communication, moreover, of his assured truth to 
others is impossible, unless the prophet exert upon 
it his reproductive activity in an effort in which 
reflection, phantasy, and in general all the spiritual 
powers display themselves in the measure and manner 
prescribed by his own spiritual idiosyncracy} Viewed 
in this aspect, the word of God which he announces 
is also the prophet's own word. It is something 
which, as regards its ultimate origin, does not proceed 
millibbo (from his heart), but yet at the same time, in 
a true sense, does so proceed — as is acknowledged even 
by Konig (in loc. cit ii. pp. 361 £). Finally, — and this 
the point that here mainly concerns us, — it is likewise 
clear that, though the fresh truth, communicated to 
the prophet in revelation, is one immediately given 
him by the Spirit of God, its apprehension can never be 
nnmediated. It cannot be an act that stands in no 
organic conneanon with the cognitions, concepts, and ideas 
already present to the mind of the prophet. Bather 
must it be organically summoned by the Spirit of Ood to 
the light of consciousness out of that which is already 

^ Cp. Pfleiderer, Die Religion, ihr Wesen u, ihrt OeachichU, i. p. 879. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 55 

the spirit iud property of the prophet, and that without 
hurt to the freshness proper to revealed truth.^ For 
how could the Spirit of God produce in the prophet 
certainty in regard to matter wholly strange and 
absolutely new to his spirit — ^something which he 
could not recognise in its connexion and agreement 
with the total previous content of his consciousness, 
and fit into its appropriate place ? A truth not 
psychologically mediated by connexion with the 
previous contents of consciousness, could result only 
from a magical operation of the Spirit of God upon 
the spirit of the prophet. In other words, it could 
only be put into the prophet in an external and 
mechanical way. It is impossible to suppose that 
any truth, or even the immediate certainty regard- 
ing the will and counsel of God» peculiar to the 
prophet, could originate in this way. The law 
which is valid in the sphere of the natural life is 
not less valid in the spiritual sphere : the law, that 
nothing can be mechanically received into a living * 
organism, or in a purely external way drawn into its 
life-process and activity. In the one sphere as in 
the other, there can be appropriation only through 
a process of assimilation conditioned by the laws of 
the receptive faculties ; and this process of assimilation 

^ Konig, indeed, conceives of two " sums " of thoughts and concepts, 
sb&rply and definitely distinguished from each other, the one of which 
springs from Divine revelation without any psychological medium, 
while the other originates in the prophet's own mind (in loc. eU, ii. 
pp. 184 f., 214 f., 220). But, as we saw, he found it impossible to 
work out his theory in full detail. 

S6 Messianic Propliecy. 


is, in the present instance, possible only when the 
fresh truth of revelation finds not merely certain 
supposed extei^nal points of connexion, but real roots, or 
concealed beginnings of its growth, in the previous 
contents of the prophet's consciousness. The organic 
connexion between the latter and the new truth must 
therefore be in some measure genetic. This is de- 
manded by the constitution of man's spiritual being, 
in accordance with which the receptive and assimilat- 
ing activity of the spirit in relation to a new truth is 
only possible, when the new apprehension so offers 
itself that the existing store of apprehensions is enriched 
by a living growth from within outwards, and not by 
mere mechanical addition, somewhat after the fashion 
in which, in building, one stone is laid upon another ^ 
(see above, p. 45). The degree of this organic con- 
nexion between old and new may, however, of course, 
vary according to the peculiarities of particular cases, 
in such a way that the predicate new is claimed for 
the revealed truth, now in a lower, now in a higher 
sense. The new apprehension, objectively regarded, may 
be simply the unfolding of a certain germinal know- 

^ As regards Eonig's criticism of the above (in loc. eit., ii. pp. 21 7 if.), 
be it remembered that we here presuppose as proven the position that 
the hearing of tfie speech of Ood is an inner assurance regarding God's 
counsel and wilL Bat even if we accepted Konig's literalistic view, 
his hypothesis of an accommodation on the part of the speaking God 
would have to be extended to the point required by the theory we 
prefer, unless, indeed, we are content to assume that the prophet was, 
like a pupil who has learnt his lesson by ''mere verbal repetition," 
appropriating it only as a kind of unintelligible ballast to the 
memory, — an 'assumption which Konig himself expressly repudiates 
(p. 219). , 


The Origin of Messianic PropJucy, 57 

ledge already contained in the consciousness of the 
prophet, only the unfolding process is not effected by 
the conscious exercise of his understanding and reason. 
At the moment of revelation he is conscious only of the 
resuit of the process as something given. He is not 
conscious of the development of the new truth out of 
those which are already his spiritual possession, and it 
is only afterwards, if at all, that he can, as it were, 
count up the items of the given total, and clear up by 
reflection the genetic connexion of the new with the 
old. But, apart from this, the organic relation of 
which we speak may reveal itself in the fact that the 
new truth reconciles contradictory elements in the 
existing contents of the prophet's consciousness, or 
that, by, as it were, filling a gap in the complex of his 
prophetic intuitions, it seems to him the solution of 
a riddle. This is particularly the case where the new 
truths are not of a purely ideal character, but relate 
rather to the concrete facts of future history. Such 
truths cannot manifestly be related to the existing 
knowledge of the prophet in a purely genetic way, as 
if the related terms were but the necessary steps in a 
process of abstract reasoning. The rule may be laid 
down that in all cases in which the peculiar prophetic 
charisma, based as it is on the natural faculty of pre- 
sentiment, operates with marked prominence, the pre- 
dicate 1UW is applicable to the truths enunciated in 
the higher sense. Yet even such truths can be taken 
up into the consciousness of the prophet only in a 
manner conformable with the laws of the human spirit. 

58 Messianic Prophecy. 

In 3pite of their newness, they cannot be added 
to his existing knowledge in an external way, but 
they must so grow out of it that the new shoots of 
spiritual impulse derive the nourishment necessary, so 
to speak, to their organic outfit through numerous 
delicate arteries from the old stem. As a wJiohy the 
truth may fairly be regarded as a new one ; yet, for 
all that, it must be possible to exhibit some genetic 
connexion between the individual moments of its 
apprehension aud the apprehensions previously attained 
by the prophet 

A mode of revelation which thus respects the nature 
and laws of the spiritual life seems, moreover, to be 
the only one worthy of God. For to assume that 
revelations were made to the prophets in a way that 
condemned their previous apprehensions of truth to 
absolute disuse, involves surely an unworthy conception 
of God. No ! — the Spirit of God is not for ever 
beginning His work afresh, nor is that work to be 
conceived as an external process of dismemberment, 
whose express design is continuously to set aside and 
conceal the inner connexions of the total truth. He 
rather makes it His function to develop the germs 
that lie concealed in existing apprehensions, to bring 
them by constant impulse to the point at which they 
shall discover their hidden treasures, and cause the 
new truth organically to blossom forth from them 
under the reciprocal action of those influences which 
by the laws of their own life-force they exert upon 
pne another in the natural progress of their develop- 

The Origin of Memanic Prophecy . 69 

ment. It is reedly ouly a revelation of such a kind 
and manner that can be called worthy of God. ^ 

Hence it follows that the question as to the origin 
of a Messianic prophecy is answered in a truly 
satisfactory way only when it is shown how that origin 
has been psychologically mediated, or more particularly, 
what roots and germs of it were contained in the previous 
consdousTuss of the prophet, and in what way it was 
organically developed from them. In dealing with any 
particiUar case we should have not only to investigate 
what portion of the national life the prophet, as 

^ In the above disseii:ation we have expressly noticed only the mode 
of revelation which we have recognised as the one that is usual — the 
one that is to be presumed as having been actually employed in by 
far the majority of cases. It would be easy, however, to show that 
our exposition is in aU essential respects valid even in relation to the 
revelations received in ecstasy or by means of visions, as indeed may 
be seen from what has already been indicated in regard to the pyscho- 
logical genesis of the latter (pp. 45 f. ). It would take us too far beyond 
the proper object of our investigation, as well as the limits of an 
introductory treatise like the present, to enter upon a criticism of the 
view of Konig (in loc, cit. iL pp. 25-48), that in their visions the 
prophets saw with their bodily eyes appearances and events of the 
supersensible world, which God summoned before them in an external 
sensible way. We remark only that, on this point, he lays the chief 
emphasis upon the fact that, in describing their own visions, the 
prophets use only the verb rd*dh, never ehdzdh (as a finite verb or as a 
participle), whereas the latter word is used of the visions of the faUe 
prophets. H is theory is that by this contrast between rd*dh and ehdzdh 
the prophets meant to indicate that their own visions were a "proper 
seeing," whereas those of the false prophets were " as produced through 
a psychological medium, not a seeing in the proper sense," rather " a 
projection outwards of the results of a purely internal process " (p. 80). 
Had this really been the intention of the prophets, they would surely 
have taken care to mark the alleged contrast between rdVlA and chdtdJi 
much more distinctly than they really do (Kbnig makes use of Ezek. 
13. 3 in a way which the words do not warrant). They would not 
have awkwardly concealed it by using — if not the verb ehdzdh itself — 

60 Messianic FrapJucy. 

occupying the highest religious standpoint attainable in 
his time, has, so to speak, absorbed into his conscious- 
ness through his acquaintance with the law and history 
of his people, with the prophecies of his predecessors, 
with the constitution of the theocracy, etc. We should 
have to inquire also what knowledge he has of the 
conditions and circumstances of the time when he 
writes, what he has personally observed and experienced 
in relation to his compatriots, what acquaintance he 
has with the great events of history, and with the 
contemporary circumstances of other peoples, etc. 

at least its derivatives, chdziUh, chdtdn^ chizzdyan, of the visions of the 
trae prophets, and, in a broader sense, of revelation in general ; and, on 
the other hand, by using rd*dh in an "improper" as well as a 
** proper" sense. Yet Konig himself has been at pains to show that 
such is in both particulars the usage of the prophets (pp. 33 if.). The 
real state of the case is as follows : rd^dh is by its root*meaning the 
]>roper and usual prose word in ancient Hebrew for to see. The root 
idea of chdzdhf on the other hand, is that of the material action of 
spliUing, cleaving aninder. Hence, in a spiritual sense, it is a choicer 
word than rd*dh. In ancient Hebrew it is thus used mainly in poetry, 
or else for the sake of variety in expression, as a synonym with rn'dh 
(cp. Ex. 24. 10 f., Isa. 80. 10, Job 19. 26 f.). In later Hebrew, how- 
ever, especially in the Books of Chronicles, it is used with equal 
frequency in prose. Thus rd'dh and hvr^dh were undoubtedly the words 
most suitable and readiest to hand to denote visions that were real in 
the sense of being referable to God as their author, and it is, as a rule, 
of such visions that we have prose accounts. On the other hand, chdzdh 
(of which there is no HipKU in general use) is notof itself sufficient to 
denote the pretentious self-deceiving character of the visions of the 
false prophets. For this such common additions as shdv\ sheker, 
millibhamf etc. (vanity, falsehood, from their heart), are necessary. 
In spite, moreover, of all that Konig says, the fact cannot be blinked, 
that the derivative ro*ih is used in Isa. 28. 7 of the visions of false 
prophets ; while, on the other hand, chozim is used in Is. SO. 10 as 
parallel to ro'tm, and t?iat, in words uttered by the prophet himself, 
not in those quoted from the people, and is therefore not exclusively 
referable to the false prophets. 

The Origin of Messianic Frophecy, 61 

In dealing, on the other hand, with the question as 
to the origin of Messianic prophecy in general^ the one 
essential matter is to perceive that the prophets were 
above others those members of the theocratic nation 
who had the law of their God in their heart (Ps. 37. 
31, Is. 51. 7, cp. Deut. 30. 14), or, to express the same 
thing more generally, that they before others were, so 
to speak, the bearers and representatives of the religion 
of Israel. And if the obvious admission be made^ 
that the most essential element in Messianic prophecy 
is of an ideal as distinguished from a concrete character, 
— not relating, t.e., to the details of future history, — we 
shall have to exhibit the requisite organic connekion 
between the truths revealed to the prophets and their 
previous religious knowledge as on the whole mainly 
a purely genetic one. That is to say, the revealed truths 
will appear in greatly preponderating measure as but the 
development of an already existing germinal knowledge — 
a development, albeit, that is not effected by the conscious 
exercise of the prophet's own understanding and reason. 

We must not seek to prove that this germinal 
knowledge belongs to the series of those isolated prophetic 
utterances which have been communicated in the course 
of the Old Testament narrative from the so - called 
ProtO'Bvangel down to the time of the prophets. At 
least we must not claim that it does so exclusively or 
even chiefly. Historical criticism cannot find in the 
traditions regarding these prophetic sayings, which are 
preserved in the Pentateuch, a foundation for a history 
of prophecy which should reach back to the time of 

6 2 Messianic Proplieey, 

the Patriarchs and the beginnings of the human race. 
In a first view it can recognise in them only a 
testimony to the fact that in later times and under 
the influence of prophecy certain views were formed 
regarding the economy of revelation which was pre- 
paratory to and prophetic of the kingdom of God founded 
in Israel. But even if a properly historical character, 
in the fuller sense, were rightfully claimed for these 
traditions, the opinion that the Messianic element 
in prophecy must trace its roots and first begin- 
nings specially to them would still be unwarranted. 
Were this opinion in accordance with the facts, we 
should necessarily expect to find in Messianic prophecy 
— from its beginning onwards— characteristic references 
to these primitive models of Divine promise. We 
should find points of connexion with them, echoes of 
them. But where shall we look for the effects on 
Messianic prophecy of such conceptions as that of the 
seed of the woman that should bruise the head of the 
serpent, or of the blessing of all the nations of the 
earth in the seed of Abraham, or of the star that 
should rise from Jacob ? The soil from which the 
spirit of revelation caused such conceptions Ijo grow is 
manifestly much broader and more comprehensive than 
the contents of those isolated oracles of whicli tradition 
reported. It comprehends the general principles and 
fundamental truths of the Old Testament faith. * 

^ A work therefore, like that of von Orelli's cited above, which 
promises to exhibit Old Testament prophecy " in its historical develop- 
ment," ought not to be content with the traditional mode of showing 
how, beginnisg from the so-called Proto-Evangel, prophecy advances 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 63 

Hence our object will be to show how it was "both 
possible and necessary that the Messianic hopes and 
prophecies should proceed from tlie inmost heart of the 
religion of the ancient covenant-people, — a religion 
founded and developed by Divine revelation. We must 
discover in the essence of this religion the ground of 
that expectant look and effort forwards to a glorious 
consummation — foreordained by the unalterable decree 
of God, and to be reached " in the end of the days"^ — 
which are so characteristic of it, and have made it, alone 
of the religions of antiquity, the religion of hope.* 

Now it may be said in general that this ground lay 
in the ideaiism of the Old Testament religion of revela- 
tion. It lies, that is to say, in the fact that revelation 
implanted in the religious consciousness of Israel ideas 
of such great, deep^ and rich significance, that it was 
never possible to recognise in actual conditions and 

through snch stages as the Blessing of Noah^ the Promises to the 
Patriarchs, the Blessing of Jacob (socaUed), the Prophecies of Balaam, 
etc., to ever-increasing definiteness. The whole style of treatment is 
misleading and nnhistorical. In Hengstenherg's Christology it corre- 
sponds indeed with the author's standpoint, whereas in von Orelli it 
appears only as the result of a one-sided supematuralism, and of tradi- 
tional views of the authorship of the Old Testament writings, that do 
not harmonise with his own main positions. Cp. Stud, u, Kritxk, 1888, 
pp. 807 fr. 
> [The h'*ach&rUh hayydmim of Isa. 2. 2, Micah 4. 1, etc.— Tb.] 
' Kt/PER (in loc, cit. pp. 48 and 55) considers the above, along with 
the inferences we proceed to draw from it, "likely to lead to grave 
misapprehensions," on the ground that it fails "to do full justice " to 
the objective character of Messianic prophecy. But his objection : 
"Prophecy is not a psychological product, but a Divine revelation," 
does not touch my argument, as I have not denied to prophecy the 
attribute of revelation. At the same time, however, I did endeavour 
to " do full justice " to the proposition, which even he concedes (p. 54) : 

64 Measianie Prophecy, 

circumstances any measurable approximation to their 
perfect realisation, ideas that at every stage in the 
development of religious life and knowledge in Israel 
revealed more of their proper depth and richness, and 
whose power thus necessarily gave to the religious life 
at every point of its development that peculiar direction 
forvxirds to a still future goal. The more keenly a 
pious Israelite realised the contradiction between the 
idea and the reality, — and who could be more aware of 
it than the prophet, distinguished by the intensity of 
his religious life and the wealth and purity of hie reli- 
gious and ethical knowledge ? — the more necessarily did 
his faith, hope, and longing direct themselves to the 
future and final removal of the contradiction, and the 
perfect realisation of the idea. We have now to con- 
sider more minutely the most important of these ideas, 

that the revealing operations of the Divine Spirit maintain them> 
selves in harmony with the laws of the human spirit, and that therefore 
all revelation is psychologically mediated. E5nig's adverse criticism 
(ii. pp. 303 ff.) culminates in the proposition : that God has so revealed 
Himself, " that there is no genetic connexion between human historical 
development and Divine revelation," and that '* there is no ground 
for wonder that God has not rooted His revelation in anything human. " 
I content myself with the counter question : Is, then, the religion of 
Israel, are the fundamental truths of the Old Testament faith, something 
purely ''human," to which Divine revelation can be thus absolutely 
opposed? Moreover, Konig himself remarks incidentally that the 
Toraih Ydh^veh (Law of Jehovah), announced by the prophets, is 
"never more than an unfolding of ancient germs" (ii. p. 335). The 
statement of his latest work {Lie HauptprobUme der aUisraelitigchen 
SeligumsgeschichUf 1884, p. 41) is even more explicit — viz. that 
" the universalistic hopes of the religion .of Israel were the natural and 
necessary ref>ult of the Hebrew view of the relation of God to the 
world ; that they, in fact, grew from it by, so to speak, the native 
impttUe of a living germ," 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 65 

those, viz., which are to be regarded as the germinal ideas 
out of which Messianic prophecy grew. In doing so 
we take for granted that the root thoughts of the Old 
Testament religion do not date merely from the era of 
prophecy, but are the fruit of the initial and funda- 
mental revelation mediated by Moses, and belong 
therefore to the pre-prophetic period. The right to 
this assumption rests on the indisputable fact that 
even the oldest prophets announce these root thoughts 
as old truths, which were made known to the Israelites 
at the time of the exodus from Egypt.^ We need not, 
however, pause to investigate precisely the expression 
of them that may have been given by Moses. It is 
sufficient for our purpose to concentrate attention on 
the form they have attained when the prophets, whose 
Messianic utterances are before us, received them into 
their consciousness,^ and this we regard as something 
that remains essentially one and the same; for the 
progressive development sought to be traced in the 
teaching of successive prophets, so far as it really exists, 
does not touch the essence of the root-thoughts them- 
selves, but only their form of presentation.^ 


* On this cp. Smend, Uebtr die von den Propheten des 8 Jahr- 
hunderts voraiisgesetzte Enttoickdungstu/e der israelitischen Religion, 
in Stud, u, Kritik, 1876, Pt. 4, esp. pp.»622 ff. ; K6nio in loc. cU. li. pp. 
334-347 ; and his work, Die HauptproUeme der aUiaraeliUchen Reli- 
gionsgesehidite gegenHher den Entwickelungatheoreiikem beleuchut, 
Leipzig 1884. 

* The want of unanimity as to the literary origin of the Pentateuch, in 
particnhir, as to the date of the so-called Qrundschri/t (Original or Primi- 
tive Document), is therefore to us a matter of subordinate importance. 

'With this verdict Reuss agrees, Die Oeachickte der Jieiligen 
Sehnften Altai Testamentes, 1881, p. 816. 


66 Messianic Proplucy. 

There are three ideas which, above others, demand 
our special attention : the idea of the Covenant, the 
immediately related idea of the Kin^fdom of God, and, 
as the germ of Messianic prophecy in the narrower 
sense, the idea, not indeed Mosaic, yet still pre-pro- 
phetic, of the Theocratic Kingship. 

If I. The idea of the covenant on which Jehovah 
'l entered with Israel is the fundamental and principal 
idea of the entire Old Testament religion. It is the 
centre to which the sum -total of Israel's faith and 
religious knowledge is uniformly referred. It governs 
the consideration and presentation of the entire history 
of Israel, and, indeed, of the prehistoric period, back 
to the very beginnings of the human race, and it is the 
root-thought of prophecy. An attempt has, indeed, 
been made of late to prove that while the older pro- 
phets (Amos, Isaiah, Micah) recognise the existence of 
a special relation of Israel to Jehovah, they have not 
yet begun to regard this relation as that of a covenant, 
and that only shortly before the Exile, in consequence 
probably of the solemn acceptance by Josiah and the 
people of the Deuteronomic law-book, the idea of the 
covenant that prevails in Deuteronomy, in Lev. 17-26, 
in the Book of the Four Covenants,^ — the so-called Primi- 
tive Document of the Pentateuch, — and is assumed by 
the prophets Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Deutero-Isaiali, 
was advanced to a central position in the religious 

^ [This document is now more generally known as the Priestly Code. 
See Appendix A, Note IV. — ^Tu.] 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 67 

consciousness.^ It must perhaps be conceded that the 
practice of designating the relation between Jehovah 
and His people by the term covenant became usual with 
the prophets only with the commencement of the 
Deuteronomic period.^ Still we must remember that 
the word occurs in this sense even in Hosea' and in 
some of the admittedly elder portions of the Penta- 
teuch.'^ Above all, it must be borne in mind that the 
separate elements of the conception of the relation of 
Jehovah to Israel, which have received a comprehen- 
sive expression in the term Vrith (covenant), including 
the circumstances, that the relation depended upon 
the obedience of Israel, and yet was not wholly remov- 
able on God's side, can not only be traced in the pages 
of both the elder and the eldest prophets, but also belong 
to what they designate as truth that had been announced 
as early as the time of the exodus from Egypt.^ 

It is sufficient for our purpose briefly to unfold the 
significance of the covenant idea in its most essential 
elements. As an element of fundamental importance 
we emphasise, first of all, the fact that, though the cove- 
nant is, in idea, a compact-relation, involving a reci- 

* Cf. WELLHAU8KN, OesckicJUf. IsToels, i. 1878, pp. 434 f., and ProU- 
fjamena zur OeachichU Itraels, 1888, pp. 442 f. [Eng, Transl, p. 402.] 

' Cp. on this GiTTBE, De foederis notume Jeremiana, Leipzig 1877, 
esp. pp. 10 ff. 

' Ho8. 6. 7, 8. 1. * Kg, Ex. 19. 5, 24. 7 f. 

^ Cp. ReV88, Die Geschichte der h, Schriften Alien Testamentes, pp. 
322 and 324 ; EOnig in loc. eit, ii. pp. 338 If., and in the work, Die 
Hauptprohleme, etc., pp. 84 f.; Bredbnkamp, Oeaetz und Propheien, 
1881, pp. 21 if. Even Guthe (in loc, cit,) admits that by his use of 
the term b^rith Jeremiah has not imported any essentially new element 
into the conception of the relation of Jehovah to Israel. 

68 Messianic Prophecy. 

procity of obligations, still the mutual obligations have 
been fixed wholly by the one side, viz. by Jehovah in 
the exercise of His unconditioned freedom and inde- 
pendence. Jehovah there/ore is the sole Founder of the 
covenant. This is a view which is deeply rooted in 
Israel's consciousness of God, and which notoriously 
has stamped itself upon the phraseology commonly 
employed to denote the establishment of the covenant- 
relation.^ The foundation, therefore, of the conscious- 
ness of Israel, as regards his peculiar relation to God, 
is the belief that Jehovah, the Lord of the world, has 
in the absolute freedom of His gracious will chosen 
Israel from among all the peoples of the earth to be 
His peculiar people (Ex. 19. 5, Amos 3. 2). Now 
undoubtedly there is a view which pervades aU the 
Pentateuch traditions, and occupies, besides, an im- 
portant place in the consciousness of the prophets (cp. 
even Isa. 29. 22, Micah 7. 20), to the eflFect that the 
progressive fulfilment of this elective decree dates from 
the first beginnings of history, being prepared for by 
the gradual separation of Israel from other peoples, 
and . specially by the relation of peculiar intimacy on 
which God entered with the patriarchs. All the Pen- 
tateuch traditions, moreover, tell of prophetic announce- 
ments of this decree in the form of Divine promises 
made to Abraham and his posterity, and confirmed to 
the succeeding patriarchs;* and the designation, in 

' Cp. Oehlek, Theologie des AUen Testamenteit, § 80. 

' Cp., on the one hand (Elohistic), Gen. 17. 7 f., 28. 3 f., 86. 11 f.; 
on the other (Jehovistic), Gen. 12. 2 f., 18. 14 ff., 18. 18 f., 22. 16 ff., 
26. 8 ff., 28. 3 f. 

■ ■ - » "• 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 69 

the Jehovistic document, of Jehovah as the " God of 
Shem" (G«n. 9. 26), in the blessing of Noah, is meant 
to mark His future relation to Israel. 

Still it is only in the redemptive act of the deliver- 
ance from Egypt that the elective decree attains its 
full accomplishment This is an experience of the 
redeeming might and grace of Jehovah which is 
national and historical, and it results from it that the 
word of God, mediated by Moses, becomes, throughout 
the continuance of the Old Covenant, the foundation of 
Israel's confidence that Jehovah is his God, and that 
he himself is Jehovah's peculiar people, whom He has 
separated from other peoples and won for Himself 
(Ex. 15. 16, 2 Sam. 7. 23 f.). The redemption 
from Egyptian bondage occupies thus in the religious 
consciousness of Israel the place which in our 
Christian consciousness belongs to God's deed of 
redemption through Jesus Christ.^ On the basis of 
this deliverance and of the law announced at Mount 
Sinai, the covenant between Jehovah and Israel is 
definitely fixed (Ex. 6. 2-8, 19. 4 ff., 24. 3 ff.). 
It is a covenant with the people as a whole, for God's 
deliverance was a national experience, and the indi- 
vidual Israelite is in covenant with his God in the first 
instance only in so far as he is a member of the nation. 

' It may be called to mind that even Old Testament prophecy 
ezpreasly institutes a parallel between the Messianic deeds of salva- 
tion and the deliverance from £gypt and entrance into the holy 
land, regarding the former as the second, higher and fuller realisa- 
tion of what was signified by the election of the ancient covenant - 
people (cp. e,g. Isa. 10. 26, 11. 1. 16, chap. 12, Micah 7. 15, Jer. 
23. 6 ff., chap. 31, Isa. 63. 9, etc.). 


70 Messianic Prophecy. 

In consequence of the election and the covenant, 
Jehovah is the God of Israel. This by no means 
implies merely that Israel shall worship and obey 
Him alone, as his national God. It implies also that 
He will be what He is in particular for Israel, i.e. 
that He will reveal Himself to Israel as the living 
God, in His holiness, in the fulness of His power, and 
the riches of His grace. To this people it must be 
made evident how merciful and gracious, long-suffering 
and of great grace and truth. He is, yet how hostile to 
all evil To no other people does He so show 
Himself as God ; other peoples are indeed made aware 
of His Divine power and holiness, but not in the first 
instance by His becoming their helper and redeemer, 
but either by His using them for the accomplishment 
of His decrees regarding Israel, or by His visiting 
them with judgment for Israel's sake. His whole 
revelation on earth is thus directly only a revelation 
made to Israel and for his advantage. The beginning 
of this gracious revelation of Jehovah as the God of 
Israel is the Exodus, which is thus the event of 
fundamental importance,^ but its continuation is the 
fact that Jehovah dwells among His people,' and when 
He has put them in possession of the promised land, 
He reigns among them as their present King. Israel 
is made aware of His gracious presence and government 
by the feeling of security, freedom, and independence, 

^ Cp. Jehovah's self-designation in the preface to the Ten Words, 
Ex. 20. 2, and passages like Lev. 19. 86, Ex. 6. 6 f., 29. 46, and 
manj others. 

« Ex. 29. 46, Lev. 26. 11 f., Ezek. 87. 27. 


The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 71 

by the vincibility of enemies, by the peaceful posses- 
sion of his appointed territory, by rapid numerical 
increase, by wise social arrangements, by material 
wealth — specially by the rich productivity of the 
land, by protection from plagues and other national 
calamities — in short, by his national prosperity and 
greatness. Yet all this is but the outer side of the 
higher blessing of salvation vouchsafed to this people ; 
they are near to the living God, can come to Him and 
inquire of Him, receive from Him the most righteous 
laws and ordinances of life, are constantly directed by 
His Spirit and word through chosen organs, and are 
heard when they call upon Him. It is by this that 
Israel is distinguished above all the peoples of the 
earth (Ex. 33. 16, Deut. 4. 7 f.). As the people who 
are near to God, and can come near, they have the 
dignity and the privilege of a priestly people (Ex. 
19. 6).i 

On the other hand, however, God as the Holy One 
can enter on this alliance with Israel only in such a 
way as to preserve-^ — even in relation to Israel — His 
holiness, ie. His sublime transcendence and His 
stainless purity. He must, so to speak, sublimate 
His chosen and peculiar people into the sphere oi 
His holiness. He must lift them out of their natural 
connexion with the profane, impure Gentile world, 
who ser\'e false gods. The opposition of His holy 

^ It is not, however, implied in the expression mamlikheth koh&nim 
(kingdom of priestA), as used in Ex. 19. 6, that Israel, as a priestly 
people, exercises the mediatorial function of representing humanity 
before God. 

72 Messianic Prophecy. 

being to the " no-Gods " of the heathen, and to the 
impurity associated with their worship, must find its 
earthly antitype in the separateness of Israel from all 
other peoples. As the Sanctifier/ therefore (m^kaddesh), 
Jehovah constitutes Israel a holy people (Ex. 19. 6, 
Lev. 20. 26). In this way there is established no 
mere external distinction, but rather mainly an inward 
separateness of the Israelitish nationality from that of 
other peoples. Their whole political constitution bears 
an impress distinct from that of other States ; ^ the 
life of the people as a whole is otherwise ordered and 
shaped from the fact that it is placed exclusively under 
the determining influence of the holy will of Jehovah. 
This peculiar holiness of Israel is primarily a Divine 
endowment — a character impressed upon him by God. 
Yet in it Israel's problem and destiny are set before 
him. For the whole mutual relation of Jehovah and 
Israel is made dependent upon the condition that 
Israel hear the voice of Jehovah and keep His 
covenant (Ex. 19. 5). By making allowance, in this 
way, for the reciprocity of obligation implicit ^n the 
idea of a covenant, the Old Testament creed does 
justice to human freedom — in particular, to the truth 
that in His relation to men God does not, as in the 
kingdom of nature, set all things in motion by the 
sole instrumentality of all-pervading force, but leaves 
room for human freedom. The kingdom of God 

^ Ex. 31. 13, Ley. 20. 8, 21. 8, 22. 16. 32, Ezek. 20. 12, 37. 28 m 
compared with Ley. 21. 15. 23, 22. 9, Num. 8. 17. 
^ Cp. the complaint of Isaiah (2. 6-8). 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 73 

founded in Israel bears an ethical character. Israel 
has to keep the character of holiness that has been 
vouchsafed to him ; by faithfulness and obedience to 
his God and King he must remain a people distinct 
from the heathen peoples. He is under obligation to 
keep himself as pure and free as possible from 
everything, that would tend to the dishonour of the 
holy God, to Whom he is allied, and with Whom he 
has intercourse, from physical impurities,^ as well as 
from ethical stain.^ And the requirement : '' Ye shall 
be holy, for I am holy," has no mere negative signifi- 
cance; it is a summary of the entire legislation.^ 
Judged by its inmost essence, the latter is nothing less 
than the revelation of the ethical perfection of God, 
as appears in the form of the demand, Isa, 2. 5, which 
implies that the light of the law is the reflected light of 
Jehovah, and its design is so to shape the national life of 
Israel, that it will exhibit an ever-increasing resemblance 
to the holiness of God, and Israel becomes thus in the 
full sense of the words a goi kddhosh, or holy nation. 

While, therefore, the covenant relation would be 
unreal and inefficacious unless there were — corre- 
sponding to the gracious end of the Divine election — 
the experience that Jehovah is Israel's God, and 
Israel His holy peculiar people, this experience is at 
every moment conditioned by the fulfilment on the 
part of the people of the stipulations of the covenant. 
On no other terms can Jehovah prove Himself Israel's 

1 Lev. 11. 44, 20. 26 ; cp. 21. 8. « Lev. 19. 2, Amos 2. 7 ff. 

■ Lev. 19. 2 ; Num. 15. 40. 

74 Memanic Prophecy, 

God and Saviour. So emphatically is this the case, that, 
to meet the case of unfaithfulness and covenant-breaking, 
there is held out the threat of a withdrawal of all 
prospective blessings, and of a series of severe punitive 
judgments, culminating in the scattering of Israel among 
the heathen. For the very intimacy of the relation on 
which God has entered with Israel, carries with it the 
certainty that His jealous anger at the slighting of His 
holy majesty and the profanation of His holy name 
will visit none so surely as His own erring people.^ 

As, liowever, Israel could not cooperate with 
Jehovah in the institution of the covenant, it must 
be correspondingly impossible that the continuance 
of the latter should be altogether dependent upon 
the attitude of the covenant -people. Tlie pre- 
servation of the covenant, as well as its initial 
establishment, must be preeminently the concern of 
Jehovah. The decree of election once passed, can neither 
be as though it had not been, nor yet can it be 
made of none effect,^ because of Israel's unfaith- 
fulness and the judgments which it entails. The 
promises which God made in early times to the 
people, particularly to the fathers of the nation, cannot 
be annulled through the guilt of one generation, or 
even of several generations, nor can the purpose of 
grace, for whose realisation Israel was chosen, be 
stultified. For God is not a man that He should 
repent ; " hath He said, and shall He not do it ? or 

> Lev. 10. 3, Josh. 24. 19 f., Amos 2. 3. 
^ Buckgdngig gemacht lotrden. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 75 

Iiatli He spoken, and shall He not make it good ? " ^ 
Though men are unstable and fickle in their attitude 
to God, there is not on that account any changeable- 
ness in Him.^ No human action can ever make His 
own purpose impracticable to God. He must find 
ways and means of carrying it out, and so fulfilling 
His promises. — It may well be, indeed, that when 
necessarily Jehovah's wrath is turned against Israel, 
the exhibition of His covenant-grace is for longer or 
shorter time suspended, but the covenant itself cannot 
be for ever dissolved. God cannot for ever reject His 
chosen people,* nor can He ever pass upon them, as 
upon heathen peoples, a decree of annihilation. In 
view of the covenant which He Himself has founded, 
in view of the fact that by election and by the promise 
sworn to the fathers, Israel is and remains His peculiar 
people, God's judgment must be, as regards Israel, of 
the nature of chastisement,^ appointed in love, to convert 
the people to Himself. God, moreover, knows how 
to carry out His loving intention,* whether it be by 
the chastisement itself, or by the glorious exhibition 
of His preventive grace, which puts to shame and 
eventually conquers even an obstinate contumacy.® 
And so soon as the intention of love is effected, or 
even while it is being effected, the covenant reverts in 
full force : God shows Himself again Israel's God and 

' Num, 23. 19, 1 Sam. 15. 29. > Mai. 3. 6. 
' Cp. e.g. Lev. 26. 44 f., 1 Sam. 12. 22, 2 Kings 13. 23. 

* Jer. 10. 24 f., 46. 28, Ps. 69. 27 ff. 

* Lev. 26. 40 ff.. Dent 30. 1 ff. 

* Cp. Eiek. 16. 60 ff., 20. 43 f., 36. 31 f. 



7G Messianic Prophecy. 

Saviour by redeeming him and making him glorious ; 
and that this should be once and for ever again the 
final result, is demanded as much by His Holiness 
and His Bighieotisness as by His Faithfulness} His 
Holiness : for the judgments against Israel consist in 
his being given over to the violence of heathen peoples, 
so that it seems for the moment as if human power 
were in some degree prevailing against (jod's kingdom, 
and might effectively obstruct the accomplishment of 
His decrees; as if there were ground for the vain 
imagination of the heathen, that the God of Israel had 
grown faint and could not protect His own, or as if 
in human fickleness He no longer concerned Himself 
in behalf of His peculiar people. Were He to leave 
His own in the power of the heathen. His transcen- 
dent majesty, His absolute sovereignty over the world, 
and the irrevocableness of His decrees would fail to 
be known upon earth ; His holy name would be and 
would remain desecrated. His honour, therefore, 
requires Him to protect His own; for His own 
sake, for His holy name's sake. He must again 
redeem Israel ; by the protection and redemption of 
His people, and by judgment upon their enemies, He 
must display His holiness before the eyes of all 
peoples.^ — ^But His Righteousness also requires Him, 
so soon as the end of His punitive judgments is 
attained in the conversion of Israel, to take up again 

^ See above, and cp. t.g, Ex. 82. 11 ff. 

"Cp. €,g. Num. 14. 13 ff., Deut 9. 26 ff., Ezek. 20. 41, 38. 16. 
28, Isa. 48. 9 ff., 52. ^ f. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy . 77 

the cause of His people against their heathen 
oppressors. For the phrase, righteousness of God, has 
a general and a more special meaning. The former 
implies that the sentiment and attitude of God 
towards men correspond to the standard required, on 
the one hand, by His absolutely good will ^ and His 
disposition of love ; and, on the other, by the relations 
existing between Himself and the individual or the 
community. His relation to Israel is, however, by no 
means conditioned solely by the attitude of Israel. 
It is rather, first and foremost, one founded on His 
own declared will of grace. While, therefore. His 
dealings with Israel can correspond with His right- 
eousness only in so far as they are in harmony with 
His earnest desire that in His kingdom the evil should 
be overcome and the good prevail, it is always required 
at the same time that there be an active operation of 
His love, s^ich as toUl meet the terms of the covenant- 
relation. So soon, therefore, as Israel's conversion is 
proved by his ceasing to oppose the good-will of God 
in the above sense, God's righteousness requires that 
He should again, in love, take up the cause of His 
people. What is, on the one side — in the entire and 
full sense of the word — grace and faithfulness, is also, 
on the other, righteousness.^ But even in the narrower 

' [I.e. His willing what is absolutely good. — ^Tk.] 

' Cp. e.g. Hos. 2. 19, Ps. 103. 17, and the many other passages 
in the Psalms in which — not always indeed with special reference to 
Israel as a people — ts'dhakdh is associated witli or is the rhythmical 
parallel of ch^^<idh or ihnHndh (righteonsness, mercy, truth), as Pa. 
33. 5, 36. 5 f. 10 f., 40. 10 f., 89. 14, 96. 13, 116. 5, 145. 17 ; see 
also the use of Ufidhdhdh in Isa. chaps. 40-66. 


78 Messianic Prophecy. 

sense of the term, the righteousness of God, His judicial 
righUsecuring righteousness demands that Israel should 
be delivered from the power of the heathen so soon as 
he turns to his God. For Israel has his rights as 
over against the heathen ; he is by comparison more 
righteous than they, in so far as he worships the only 
true God in the persons of the always surviving 
remnant, who, however few in number, are yet faithful 
to Jehovah, and compose the true stock of Israel/ 
As the righteous Judge, God cannot suffer the wicked 
man to doom to destruction one who is more righteous 
than he. As in His kingdom He undertakes the 
cause of the pious man so as to protect him from the 
violence and deceitful snares of the evil-doer,^ so must 
He vindicate for Israel, against the idolatrous heathen, 
the rights that belong to the people who worship the 
only true God ; and that, by a judicial act which at 
once redeems Israel, and destroys his oppressors.^ 

It is not difficult to see how Messianic prophecy — 
in the wider sense — both could and must grow out of 
the idea of the covenant whose development we have 
traced. It resulted, firstly, from the contradiction be- 
tween idea and reality consequent upon Israels valgus 
disloyalties ; and, secondly, from the contradiction be- 
tween idea and reality inherent in the entire character 
of the Old Covenant and its theocracy, — a contradiction 

1 1 Kings 19. 18, Hab. 1. 13. 

8 Cp. e,g. Ps. 31. 1, 71. 2, 129. 4. 

' For passages illustrating in detail this aspect of the Divine 
righteousness, i.e. as vindicating the peculiar rights of the covenant 
people, see esp. Isa. chaps. 40-66, t,g, 41. 10 ff. 

Ths Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 79 

Avhich came progressively to the consciousness of pious 
and enlightened Israelites along with the development 
and deepening of religious knowledge and life. ThQ first 
point does not require further illustration of a special 
kind. For the very idea of the covenant, as we have, 
developed it, implies that in times of defection, and of 
judgments already present or even only in prospect, 
the eyes of all in whose hearts the Old Testament faith 
was alive were necessarily turned to the coming better 
time, in which Gk)d's purpose of grace concerning Israel 
should really be accomplished. However great might 
be the defection, and however severe the judgment, 
the election of Israel, the unchanging faithfulness 
of God, His holiness and His righteousness remained 
ever the firm pillars of the confident expectation that 
nevertheless, in the end, a day of redemption would 
dawn for the people of God, — a time of salvation in 
which Israel should participate in the full blessing 
of covenant communion. 

The other point requires a somewhat more minute 
consideration. We have remarked above (p. 69) that 
the covenant was one made with the people as a whole, 
and that the individual was in the first instance in 
covenant with God only in so far as he was a member 
of the nation. Now the progress of the development 
of the Old Testament religion in the time of prophecy 
consists in general in this : that on the basis of the 
common consciousness of the nation in regard to its 
special relation to God, a relation of personal love 
and trust, experienced by pious individual Israelites 

80 Messianic Prophecy. 

towards the Grod of Israel, steadily develops itself, and 
by the intercourse of prayer with God wins increasingly 
an independent significance. The God of Israel 
becomes their God, not merely in so far as they are 
Israelites, but also in so far as they carry within 
themselves the consciousness of a personal reciprocal 
relation of possession in each other as between Grod 
and themselves. The covenant-grace becomes a love 
and faithfulness of God to individual suppliants, 
which are a matter of personal experience witnessed 
in the heart. It was a necessary consequence of this 
development of the subjective religious life, that it 
became ever a matter of clearer consciousness and 
stabler conviction, that the idea of the covenant was 
realised only in a very imperfect way in the theocracy 
founded by Moses, and that it set before the nation of 
Israel a goal that was still far distant, but the attainment 
of which, as its Divine calling and destiny, was as 
certain in the long run as the Divine decree of election.^ 
To be sure, God dwelt in the sanctuary in the midst 
of His people, revealed Himself to them by word and 
deed, and led them by His Spirit Israel was a 
priestly people, near to his God, having fellowship and 
converse with Him. But as the theocracy was in the 
first instance only, so to speak, an external State of 
God founded on the natural basis of Hebrew nation- 
ality, and as membership among the people of Jehovah 
was involved in the mere fact of physical descent from 
the chosen stock, the implied relation of communion 

^ See Appendix A, Note V. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 81 

could be primarily, and for the people as a whole, only 
an external one, and one, to booc, that was tied to the 
mediation of the Levitical priesthood. The idea that 
Israel is a priestly people, has for the individual 
member of the nation in reality only a very limited 
applicability. Circumcision and the tassels on the 
fringe of his garment' are indeed for every Israelite the 
external signs of his belonging to God, and of his 
priestly dignity. Furthermore, he exercises liis priestly 
calling at the yearly renewal of covenant-fellowship in 
the feast of the Passover.' In Sabbaths and feasts he 
draws near to his God, and at the peace-offering meal 
he rejoices thankfully in the external completion of 
his fellowship with God. Yet it is only into the 
forecourt of the dwelling-place of his God that he dare 
come ; from the Sanctuary itself he is shut out. Only 
there in reverential distance may he worship a God 
who is enthroned in the darkness of the Holy of 
holies, and only by priestly mediation can he bring his 
offerings to his God. Thus the very ordinances of the 
external intercourse of worship between Israel with his 
God contained a reminder of the fact that the covenant 
communion with God was by no means, as yet, perfect 
or final — To pious Israelites, however, this ceremonial 
intercourse with Jehovah was, by the mere fact of its 
externality, unsatisfactory ; it could not in their eyes 
be what was intended in the covenant and the election. 

1 Num. 15. 37 ff. 

^ Cp. HuPFELD, Comment, de primUiwi et vera feitorum ajmd 
Hebraeos ratione, ete., i. pp. 22 ff. 


82 Messianic Prophecy, 

Every godly man, who carried the law of his God in 
his heart/ ^tnd had his delight in the commands of 
Jehovah, which make wise, rejoice the heart, and 
refresh the soul, every one who in any degree knew 
from his own intimate experience how the God of grace 
and salvation enlightens and leads even the individual 
by His Holy Spirit,^ how inwardly near to Him His 
accepted suppliants come, how He hears and answers 
them when they call upon Him, and what bliss it is 
to be able to call God his inheritance and his portion, 
would necessarily recognise in this inwardness of 
communion with his God what is most of ail essential 
to the realisation of the idea of the covenant. And it 
lay in the nature of the case that the more the 
contrast between the scant company of the truly 
godly and the party of the worldly-minded came to be 
emphasised, the more did the difference of inward 
attitude to God tend to bring about a division within 
the circle of the covenant-people, and the more also in 
consequence did mere physical membership in the 
covenant-nation, and the outward ritual intercourse 
with Jehovah necessarily tend, in the consciousness of 
the godly, to recede in significance and worth behind 
this truer blessing of inward fellowship and intercourse 
by prayer with God. It was not in present condi- 
tions and circumstances when so many had forgotten 
God, and thought not of His commandment, that the 
godly could recognise the fulfilment of the Divine 
intention in the election and the covenant, but only in 

1 Pa. 87. 31, Ina, 51. 7. » Cp. e,g. Ps. 51. 11 f,, 143. 10. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 83 

a time when the covenant' relation should have become 
in the experience of the whole people, represented hy ail 
its individual members, that inward living personal 
fellowship with Grod which they themselves enjoyed. 
It was their part, therefore, to await in lively faith in 
Israel's election, and in love to their people, their God, 
and His Kingdom, the coming time when the gracious 
intention of the electing God should be fully accom- 
plished upon the entire elect community by the 
establishment of the true inward covenant-fellowship, 
mediated by the enlightening and sanctifying opera- 
tion of the Spirit of God. 

It deserves in this connection to be specially noted 
that the formula of Divine promise in the Pentateuch 
— of particularly frequent occurrence in the so-called 
Primitive Document — W*hdyUhi IdchJm Is'lohim ^ 
(and I will be to you a God), or, more fully : 
W'hdyUhi IdchJm Wlohim, vfattim tih'yt^li l^dm^ 
(and I will be to you a God, and ye shall be 
to Me a people), is used by those prophets, whose 
language has come to reflect a more minute acquaint- 
ance with the written law, not only in the same 
sense,' i.e. as initiating the covenant, but also, and 
mainly, to designate the relation between Jehovah 
and Israel which is to exist in the perfect tim£,^ — a 
distinct testimony that the Messianic salvation is 

* G«n. 17. 7 f., Ex. 6. 7, 29. 46, Lev. 11. 45, 22. 33, 25. 38, 26. 
• 45, Num. 15. 41. 

» Lev. 26. 12. » Jer. 7. 23, 11. 4. 

« Jer. 24. 7, 30. 22, 31. 1, 32. 38, Ezek. 11. 20, 14. 11, 84. 24, 36. 
28, 87. 23. 27, Zech. 2. 11, S. 8 ; cp. Zech. 13. 9. 

84 Messianic Prophecy. 

apprehended consciously and clearly as the full 
realisation of the idea of the covenant 

But even the inward relation of fellowship, proper 
to the godly Israelite, was not without repeated 
painful disturbance and obscuration. For, firstly , it 
was not simply love to his people, or the keen sense 
of community with them, that made him sensible of 
the wrath of God at the unfaithfulness of his people ; 
he felt it at the same time as a disturbance and 
obscuration of his personai communion with God. 
For the undermost ground of his certainty of personal 
acceptance with God was no other than the conscious- 
ness of Israel's election, and every suspension of the 
covenant-grace from the people tended necessarily to 
obscure more or less his personal standing of grace. 
Hence the pitiful complaints that God has cast away 
His people from before His face, which we hear in the 
time of the Exile, and which reveal a deep sense of 
being forsaken by God in the hearts of the godly. 
But, secondly, the blissful fellowship with God, en- 
joyed by devout souls, was also liable to obscuration 
through their ovm sin — and that, the more their 
knowledge of the will of God was deepened, and the 
greater in consequence seemed the conditions of 
covenant fellowship demanded by Him. Deepened 
knowledge of God meant a deepened sense of sin and 
guilt. They could indeed attain a firm and joyful 
certainty of the forgiveness of their sins (Ps. 32); yet 
not — at least not since the deepening of religious life 
during the period of prophecy — by the offering of the 

Tlie Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 85 

Old Testament sacrifices of atonemeDt, rather by their 
firm faith in the sin-forgiving grace of God. For both 
the law and the prophets attest the gospel contained 
in the proclamation: .^'The Lord, the Lord God, 
merciful and gracious^ long-sufiTering and abundant in 
goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, 
forgiving iniquity, and transgression, and sin.^ 

This sin-forgiving grace of God had not as yet, 
however, manifested itself in a really sufficient way. 
Belief in it had not as yet a secure foundation in 
fact, or one that sufficed for every case. If in times 
of trial and doubt the need of falling back on some 
such fact-foundation made itself felt, there was nothing 
to which Old Testament faith could recur but just 
Israel's election and his previous history; and the 
deeper the sense of sin, the less did this foundation 
seem sufficient Hence the certainty of attained 
forgiveness could not be either perfect or always 
present. In timid, shrinking hearts, and in hours of 
trial, the longing for it frequently remained perforce 
unsatisfied, and so it came about that the godly 
minority of the Old Covenant longed and hoped for 
a relation of personal communion with God such as 
could be perfect only in a future time, when their sin 
should be removed by a perfect forgiveness, and every 
fresh obscuration of their joy in God and the blissful 

1 Ex. 34. 7, Num. 14. 18, Isa. 1. 18, 55. 7, Micah 7. 18. The 
gracious words of this self-designation are echoed throughout the 
entire Old Testament->cp. Ex. 84. 6, 33. 19, Joel 2. 13, Nah. 1. 8, 
Jonah 4. 2; Ps. 86. 15, 103. 8, 111. 4, 145. 8, 2 Chron. 80. 9, Neh. 
9. 17. 81. 

86 Messianic Prophecy. 

sense of His nearness should be prevented by some 
mightier and more lasting operation of the Spirit of 
God on their heart 

This hope, however, accorded precisely with the 
Divine intention of Israel's election. For it was 
involved in the covenant - promise that God would 
manifest His divine attributes to Israfel by becoming 
his Eedeemer and Saviour. With the knowledge of 
the need for salvation, there grow a corresponding 
knowledge of God as Saviour, as well as an insight into 
His purpose of grace and the design of His kingdom. 
It became therefore necessarily a matter of increasingly 
clear apprehension to the godly men of the Old 
Covenant, that if Jehovah was to be in the full sense 
Israel's God, and Israel His people, there must he in 
prospect a revelation of His glory far outshinivg all 
previous manifestaiions — some new and great deed of 
grace and salvation — something to remove the barrier 
to full and lasting covenant-fellowship — in short, an 
operation of His sin-forgiving grace, which should do 
away with sin fully and for ever. They became 
always the more assured that God must one day 
take up His ahod^ in the midst of His people in some 
wholly different and far more glorious way than 
hitherto. Every one — did he but belong to the people 
of God — should be truly near to Him, and should 
participate in the priestly right of immediate inter- 
course with Him. All, from the least even to the 
greatest, should see His glory and be acquainted with 
Him. And to bring about this result, He Himself 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 87 

must circumcise the heart of His people, that they 
might be able to love their God with their whole 
heart and soul ; ^ He Himself must put His law in 
their inward parts, and write it in their hearts ; * He 
must put within them a new heart and a new spirit — 
even His own, and thus constrain them to walk in 
His commandments.' 

In the sphere of the present there was for the 
Israelite no equivalent to this hope comparable with 
that which met his eye in the phenomenon of prophecy. 
Not even the priesthood witnessed an operation of the 
Spirit of God upon men so immediate and so powerful, 
for it implied no such relation of confidential intimacy^ 
— no such constant and lively intercourse with God. 
In prophecy, however, he could feel — what the 
prophet himself, of course, in virtue of his peculiar 
experience felt most of all — that there was the 
distinctest possible presentation of the goal which, in 
virtue of his election, Israel should one day attain. 
Only then is the people of God what it is meant to 
be, only then is the idea of the covenant completely 
realised, when the Spirit of God shall have been 
poured out no longer merely upon individual and 
select organs, but upon the whole people, — thus 
fulfilling the early expressed ideal of Moses,^ that all 

I 1 Deut. 80. 6. • Jer. 31. 88. 

' Jer. 32. 39, Ezek. 11. 19 f., 36. 26 f. * Amos 8. 7. 

^ In the remarkable narrative Num. 11. 16 ff., cp. esp. Ter. 29 : 
*' Would God that all the Lord's people were prophets, and that the 
Lord would put His Spirit upon them!" Cp. also the familiar 
passages : Joel 2. 28 f., Ezek. 39. 29, Isa. 54. 13, etc. 

88 Messianic Prophecy. 

should be prophets — pupils of Jehovah, ruled by His 
Spirit — It was, moreover, just this presentation — in 
the fact of prophecy — of the goal which Israel should 
attain that led to the further perception, that, in 
virtue of his election, Israel had the same Divine 
calling to fulfil towards humanity which the prophets 
had to fulfil within the chosen circle, and that in some 
future day he would accomplish his mission as the 
Servant of Jehovah, equipped with the Divine Spirit, 
and entrusted with the proclamation of the word of 
God. This perception, as is well known, is elaborated 
with wonderful clearness and in most many-sided 
intensely significant detail in the prophecies of the 
" Great Unknown," Isa. chaps. 40-66. With this point 
we need not concern ourselves further here. Enough 
has been said to show that the root-idea of the Old 
Testament religion, the idea, viz., of the covenant, was 
a living germ and motive-power of Messianic prophecy ; 
and how, on the one hand, every present or prospective 
judgment of vengeance upon Israel, and on the other 
every growth in religious knowledge and every deepen- 
ing of religious life — in particular, every deepening of 
the yearning for salvation — necessarily tended to pro- 
duce from this germ the expectation of fresh revelations 
and deeds of grace, by which in the last days God 
should conduct His chosen people to their great destiny. 

11. We turn now to the second idea — closely related 
to its predecessor — ^which falls to be considered as one 
of the principal germs of Messianic prophecy, viz. the 

The (hnffin of Messianic Prophecy, 89 

idea of the Kingdom of Ood. Jehovah is the King of 
His people ; as in the sphere of nature all is subject 
unconditionally to His will, so also is it ordained that 
His will should he the all-determining norm in the 
Kingdom which He has erected for Himself in the 
midst of the people Israel All the circumstances of 
His subjects, all their relations to one another, are 
controlled by Him ; all legal ordinances are by Him 
established; every subject must in obedience to his 
God and King observe them as holy. 

In the Kingdom of God right is not to be over- 
borne by violence or artful stratagem, nor are the 
social weal and peace to be disturbed, nor, in general, 
are injustice and crime to be suffered.^ It is to be a 
kingdom in which " mercy and truth are met together, 
righteousness and peace have kissed each other;" ^ and 
that it should be, and remain, and always become 
more so, is the aim of the Kingly regimen of God. For 
as King He is very specially also Judge,* just as even 
in the case of the human king the exercise of the 
judicial ofiice is a main part of the work of his 
calling.^ As Judge He makes it His task to uphold 

^ The opinion suggested by Vatke {Bibl. Theol, i. pp. 207 ff. , 
260 ff., 476 ff.), and shared by Wellhausen, Stade, and others, that 
the conseption of the Kingdom of (jk>d is a simple reflex of the exist- 
ing human kingdom, is, as Bertheau rightly remarks {Buck der 
Jiichter, 2nd ed. on Judg. 8. 28), refuted even by the Song of 
Deborah X cp. also Ex. 15. 18, Deut 83. 5. There can be no 
question, however, in any case, but that the idea of the Kingdom of 
Jehovah occupies a central place in the religious consciousness of the 

« Ps. 85. 10. • Deut. 10. 17 f., Ps. 96. 10, 89. 14, 97. 2. 

* Cp. e.g, 2 Sam. 15. 4, 1 Kings 8. 9. 


90 Mes&ianic Prophecy. 

equitable order and the authority of His law in His 
kingdom, to protect all — in a special degree, however, 
the poor and the needy — in their rights, to waive every 
violent transgressor back within the confines of right, 
to make evil-doers harmless by frustration of their 
plans, and by punishment, and by His judgments 
extirpate the incorrigible from His Kingdom. But 
here also the actual conditions and circumstances were 
in glaring contradiction to the idea. We know how 
frequently the censures of the prophets are specially 
directed against the covetous violence of the powerful 
and the venality of the judges, and how often in the 
Psalms the "afflicted" must cry to God for help, 
because as persons without either protection or rights, 
they are given over to their powerful persecutors. 
Too often in the kingdom, that was designed to be a 
kingdom of righteousness, the reins of power were in 
the hands of evil-doers; too often must those who 
were " quiet in the land " ^ learn by bitter experience 
how little, as yet, the Kingdom of God was a kingdom 
of peace ; in actually existing conditions and circum- 
stffnces the Kingly government of God was still but 
faintly visible. How natural, therefore, the yearning 
and hope for a time in which the wicked should no 
longer be able to disturb the righteous ordinances and 
the peace of the Kingdom of God ! How natural 
the confident expectation that in some future time 
Jehovah Himself would take over and conduct in a 
far more perfect manner the Kingly government of His 

1 Ps. 36. 20. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 91 

people, so as to suppress all crime, and bring His King- 
dom into entire conformity with its ideal ! ^ 

Here also, however, the contradiction between idea 
and reality was inherent in the very nature and 
character of the Old Testament theocracy itself It was 
a natural kingdom of God, lying within the narrow 
bounds of the land of Canaan, and confined to the 
chosen people Israel. Only within these bounds was 
Jehovah known and worshipped ; only here did His 
royal will attain, at least in the better times, recogni- 
tion and accomplishment. At the most, the influence 
of His regimen did not extend beyond some tributary 
neighbours, whom it affected only in a limited degree. 
And yet Jehovah, the God of Israel, is the only true 
God, and all the gods of other peoples arc dead 
nothings;^ to Him alone therefore all honour and 
worship are due ; to Him every knee should bow, and 
every tongue swear.' As Creator of heaven and earth, 
Israel's King is also King and Lord of the whole earth,* 
the King of all kings, and the Lord of all lords ;^ 
therefore all peoples should serve Him and obey His 
commandment. As with His kingly, so with His 
judicial office ; it also extends over the whole earth,® 
and hence most frequently the " earth," the " world," 
the " peoples," the *' nations," '^ are named as the object 

1 Cp. e.g. Isa. 24. 28, 52. 7, Micah 4. 7. 

^ Cp. Deut. 4. 35. 89, 32. 89 et passim. ' Isa. 45. 23. 

* Josh. 3. 11. 18, Ps. 47. 7, Ex. 19. 6, Ps. 24. 1, etc. 

• Deut. 10. 17. « Cp. Gen. 18. 25. 

' Cp. D1E8TEL, " Die Idee dcr Gerechtigkeit im Alten Testament,'* 
in the JaJirbucIiernJUr dtuUche TJieologie, v. 1860, pp. 176 f. 

92 Messianic Prophecy, 

of His judicial activity, and even His judgment of 
Israel is commonly represented as a judgment of 
the world. Hence also the legal ordinances of His 
Kingdom must come into force everywhere on earth, 
and by His judicial activity righteousness and peace 
must be secured among all peoples. It belonged 
essentially to the idea of God, prevalent among his 
countrymen, that the Israelite should claim the whole 
earth as the kingdom of his God. For this idea con- 
tained from the first the power of lifting its possessor 
above the initial particularism of the Old Testament 
religion ; in it lay the fertile germ of the knowledge 
that in the time of its accomplishment in the future, 
the theocracy must become a universal monarchy of 
Jehovah, embracing all peoples. The development of 
this germ might indeed for a time be kept back by 
the power exercised upon religious perceptions by the 
nationalistic constitution of the existing theocracy, and 
by the sharp contrast in which at first Israel was 
required to stand to other peoples ; but with the actual 
development of the idea of God it necessarily con- 
tinued to acquire fresh strength, until at last, breaking 
through its envelope of national particularism, it 
yielded for sprouts and blossom the Messianic prophecy, 
that " in the end of the days " all peoples should know 
Jehovah and submit themselves to His law, and that 
by His kingly government and judicial activity an end 
should be put to all war, and the whole earth hecoine a 
kingdom of peace} This result was all the more 

^ The uniyersalistic tendency proper to the Old Testament religion, 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 93 

inevitable from the circumstance that the Israelite 
possessed a full and clear consciousness of the unity of 
the human race. Though he felt compelled to regard 
the heathen world as a rnassa perditionis, forgotten of 
God/ defiled by the abominations {toeihoth) of their 
filths (shikkutsim) of worship,* and ready for the exter- 
minating stroke of the Divine vengeance,* his belief 
in the one God, who sends forth His Spirit to give 
life and breath to all people upon earth, prevented 
him from drawing a line of absolute delimitation within 
humanity. Thus, with unmistakable significance, both 
stories of the Creation place one human pair in the 
beginning of the history of the human race. Eve is 
so called because she is the " mother of all living, '* * 
and all the nations known to the Tsraelites in the time 
of the writer of Gen. 1 are traced back to the three 
sons of Noah. Were the interest involved in such an 
assertion one that concerned merely physical descent, 
we should see in it only a comparatively insignificant 
historical conception. In reality, however, the interest 
is rather an ethico-religious one : the essential matter 

even in its infancy, is a peculiarity that is inseparable from its 
character of revelation, and that distinguishes it from all other 
religions of antiquity. The latter are indeed much mora particular- 
istic They allow, of course, other religions to exist peacefully along- 
side of themselves, or even, it may be, borrow elements from them. 
But this toleration results simply from the circumstance that they 
rest entirely upon a national foundation. Their national gods profess 
neither the power nor the desire to claim recognition from other 
peoples as the dnly gods. It is notoriously only Buddhism which in 
any degree shares the universalism of the Old Testament religion. 

* Ps. 9. 17. 2 Isa. 35. 8, Ezra 6. 21 9. 11. 

« Jer. 10. 26, Ps. 79. 6. * Gen. 3. 20. 

94 Messianic PropTucy. 

is that all men — without difference of tribe or 
nationality — owe their origin to one and the same 
decree of creation, to one and the same creative act 
of the Divine will ; and that therefore the nobility of 
human nature, the essential relation of humanity to 
God (the " image of God "), the high destiny of man 
in the intention of the Creator, that he should rule 
over the earth and enter on terms of fellowship and 
intercourse with his God, is something common to 
them alL The Old Testament itself indicates this 
ethico-religious kernel with sufficient clearness when, 
for example, in Gen. 5. 3, cp. ver. 1, in the account of 
the firsf^ birth special prominence is given to the 
truth, that thus the image of God went on to transmit 
itself, the effect of which is to draw attention to the 
implication that all men are traceable to the first 
man, who was created in the image of God ; or when, 
again. Gen. 9. 5 f. expresses the sacredness and inviol- 
ability of human life in general, postulating at the 
same time the fundamental truth that man is created 
in the image of God; or yet again, when the blood 
relationship of all men or their derivation from 
one and the same Creator is made the motive that 
ought to induce the fulfilment of the duties of mercy 
and neighbourliness towards inferiors.^ But if the 
historical conception of the descent of all human beings 
from one pair contains this ethico-religious kernel,^ 

^ /.e. according to the Primitive Document. 

* Cp. €,g. Isa. 68. 7, Prov. 14. 81, 17. 6, Job 31. 15, etc. 

* To this keniel let those be referred who are afraid that the com- 
bined efforts of philological and historical inquiry on the one hand, 

The Origin of Messianic Propliecy, 95 

there must have been in the consciousness of the 
Israelite but a step between it and the perception, 
that in accordance with its destination all humanity 
would one day attain the knowledge of the true God, 
serve Him in His Kingdom, live in His fellowship, 
and have converse with Him, for only thus could 
there be fully attained — what the Old Testament 
everywhere regards as the last end of the creation 
and history of the world — the honour and glory of 
God Himself. 

To the question, In what precise way the Kingdom of 
Ood xoould become a universal monarchy, embracing all 
peoples, the idea of the covenant supplied an answer. 
How can the one living God reveal His properly Divine 
attributes to Israel, and yet fail to attract the notice 
of the nations whose gods are dead nothings ? Shall 
the fact that the accomplishment of His counsel con- 
cerning Israel remains at once the centre-point and 
the goal of God's government of the world, fail to the 
last to direct the attention of the Gentiles to what He 
does in and for His people ? How were such a result 
conceivable in presence of such facts as : that Assyria, 
with her schemes of conquest, is only an instrument in 
His hand ;^ or that the mighty Nebuchadnezzar is but 

and of physiology on the other, may possibly establish the conclusion 
that the human race could not have spread itself over the earth from 
one starting-point. The kernel of ethico-religious truth would remain 
unaffected by such a result. This full and clear consciousness, more- 
over, of the unity and homogeneousness of the human race is another 
of those peculiarities of the Old Testament religion which distinguish 
it from all the other religions of antiquity. 
^ Isa. 10. 5. 15. 

9 6 Messianic Prophecy, 

His " servant"^ to accomplish upon Isrtiel a chastise- 
ment ordained by Him and announced long before ; or 
that Cyrus is Jehovah's shepherd, His anointed, the 
man of His counsel,^ whom He has raised up for the 
sake of His servant Israel, and to whose every under- 
taking He grants success with a view to the accom- 
plishment of His judgments upon the Chaldeans, and 
the fulfilment of the long-promised redemption of His 
peculiar people ? ^ Even in the Jehovistic portions of 
the Pentateuch this result of God's acts upon Israel is 
definitely indicated. Thus in Num. 14. 21 Jehovah 
swears : " In very deed, as I live, and as all the earth 
shall be filled with the ^lory of the Lord,* all these 
men," etc., — signifying not only that, according to God's 
will and decree, the glory of Jehovah, should one day 
be manifest to the whole world, but also (as judged by 
the context) that His vengeance upon the generation led 
out from Egypt, who had seen His glory and yet had 
despised and rejected Him (ver. 22), served to carry 
out that decree. But, besides the part played by this 
judicial revelation of His glory, a similar purpose, 
according to other passages, is served by His gracious 

> Jer. 25. 9, 27. 6, 43. 10. « Isa. 44. 28, 45. 1, 46. 11. 

'I8a. 41. 2, 43. 14, 44. 28, 45. 1. 13. 

^ Emobel's remark ou this passage, "He hears the intercessory 
petition, but shears at tlie same time that the earth shall be filled with 
His glory," is inaccurate. The subject-matter of the oath, introduced 
by ki, begins to be stated only in ver. 22 f. Bunsek's translation, 
** And all the world is full of the glory of the Eternal," is, however, 
also wrong, being forbidden by the Imperf. lo^immdle': cp. Fs. 72. 19 ; 
and, for the usage to express the present, Isa. 6. 8, Ps. 33. 5, llSfl 64. 
Keil rightly objects to the presential sense in the Numbers passage. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 97 

exhibition of His Divine attributes in mercy to His 
chosen people. We refer particularly to the well- 
known promise to the patriarchs : " And all peoples (or 
families) of the earth will hless themselves (or be blessed) 
in (or by) thee (or thy seed)." ^ For even according to 
the I'endering that is supported by the parallels, Gren. 
4§. 20, Ps. 72. 17,^ and now generally admitted' to 
be the right one, at least in those passages where the 
Hithpael is used, — the rendering, vijs., that conveys the 
sense that all peoples in invoking blessing upon them- 
selves will wish for themselves the blessing that shall 
have become the recognised property of the patriarchs 
and their descendants, — the words imply at least that 

1 Gen. 12. 8, 18. 18, 22. 18, 26. 4, 28. 14. 

' Cp. also Dent 29. 19, Isa. 65. 16, Jer. 4. 2 ^ and for the oppoeite 
(the curse), Num. 5. 21, I^. 65. 15, Jer. 29. 22, Zech. 8. 18, Ps. 102. 8. 

' Cp. Henghtekbero, Christologity 2nd ed. i. p. 52. That in the pas- 
sages, where instead of the HithpcCd the NipKcd is used, the promise is 
to be taken in the different sense, that all peoples, etc., are to bt blessed 
through or in Abraham and his seed, as Hengstenberg, Eeil (on Gen. 
12. 8), and others assume, could, in view of the indisputable fact that 
the NiplCaX had originally a reflexive force, in case of need be admitted 
only in the event of Gustav Baur*s (GtBckkhU der aiUestamentUchen 
Weiesagung, i. pp. 205 ff. ) view proving correct — viz. that the passages, 
Gen. 22. 18 and 26. 4, are by a d^ererU author from the other pas- 
sages — a supposition which, at least as regards Gen. 22. 18, we consider 
unfounded. But, even granting the supposition, the passive rendering 
of the NipKcd would be, in view of the context, speciaUy that in Gen. 
12, improbable. For, apart from the words in Gen. 12. 2, " And be 
thou a blessing," which are to be explained according to Zech. 8. 13, 
and which therefore support our interpretation, how can it be supposed 
probable that, immediately after a promise to the pairiarchB themaelvea 
of a blessing in the form of numerous posterity, victorious dominion 
over all enemies, and the possession of Canaan, the apiritual blessing 
of a knowledge of the true God proceeding from Israel should be held 
out prospectively to the peoples of the earth (Baur, p. 215)? Even 
Delitzsch has set his seal to the right rendering (on Gen. 12. 8). 


98 Messianic Prophecy. 

all nations will recognise in the Israelites the ** blessed of 
Jehovah" (Isa. 65. 23), or, more definitely, the people 
who alone are blessed of their God, who is the trtie God. 
They imply, therefore, that the grace of God, which 
displays itself to Israel with its burden of blessing, 
will attract the regard of all peoples, and awaken in 
them the longing to participate in the like blessing.^ 
The thought that God's deeds of judgment, and espe- 
cially His deeds of grace and redemption towards Israel, 
must fill the nations with an astounding admiration 
and fear of the power of the Living God, is expressed 
in other parts of the Old Testament — ^particularly in 
the prophets — more frequently than in the Pentateuch. 
It is, in fact, a fundamental thought of prophecy 
peculiarly appropriate to its character. Why, then, 
should not the last great act of God's grace towards 
Israel, in which He manifests Himself in the sight of 
the nations in the fulness of His glory and helpful 
grace, make an overpowering impression upon them, 
convince tbem of the vanity of their idolatry, and of 
the sole Godhead of Jehovah, and thus bring about the 
extension of the theocracy among all peoples ? How 
the knowledge of the prophetic vocation of Israel, which 
originated in the idea of the covenant, contributed a 
fresh light, which revealed the human instrumentality 
by means of which the nations should be brought into 
the kingdom of God, has already been indicated abova^ 

' Cp. the beginning of the fulfilment of this prophecy in Gen. 26. 
28 f. 

• Cp. my article, " Der Missionsgedanke im Alten Testament,'* in 
Dr. Wameck's Allgem, Missionszeilschriftf 1880, pp. 458 ff. 

The Origin of Messianic Propliecy. 99 

Finally, all that comes under the designation of evil 
can have no place in the perfected kingdom of God. 
For, according to Old Testament belief, evil exists in 
the world only because of sin — ^indeed, in the first 
instance only as its punishment. It is the immediate 
consequence of the fact, that God conceals His face in 
wrath. But when in the last days sin has been 
removed for ever by perfect forgiveness, and fresh 
defection prevented by the writing of the law of God 
upon the hearts of His subjects, the power of God, 
that redeems from evil and is rich in resource, and the 
salvation and life which accompany His gracious pre- 
sence, must also be manifested in full measure in the 
perfected Kingdom. All the misery resulting from sin 
and God's judgment upon it must have disappeared, 
that the peace and bliss of the original Paradise may 
be restored. Hence the features of Messianic prophecy 
that are borrowed from the familiar pictures of the 
original condition of the world and humanity : no more 
sickness;^ patriarchal longevity;^ peace among the 
beasts, as among human nations, and peace between 
man and beast ; ' the holy land made like the garden 
of Eden,^ transformed into it by the wonderful stream 
that goes forth from the dwelling-place of Jehovah,* is 
laden with blessing, and makes even the waters of the 
Dead Sea healthful,^ with the trees of life on its banks, 
whose never-failing fruits are for food, and its never- 

1 Istu 33. 24. ' Isa. 65. 20, Zech. 8. 4. 

* Ho8. 2. 18, Isa. 11. 6 ff., 65. 25. * Ezek. 36. 35. 
» Cp. Joel 4. 18, Zech. 14. 8. • Cp. Gen. 2. 10 ff. 

100 Messianic Prophecy, 

fading leaves for healing ; ^ finally, the destruction of 
the power of death itself and the end of all weeping.^ — 
Further, as God in His judgments usually shows Him- 
self at the same time also as Lord of Nature, by drawing 
her into a companionship of sufifering with men, for 
whose sake as well as for the Kingdom of God she 
exists, thus giving to her also a share in the history of 
the Theocracy, the perfection of His Kingdom must 
necessarily be associated with the full display of His 
creative glory in nature. The great catastrophe accom- 
panying the final judgment, by which the present world 
is shattered,^ takes place with a view to the renewal 
and transfiguration of the world ; its result is the new 
heaven and the new earth.* 

Yet again, — and to conclude, — let it be carefully 
noted that all these expectations necessarily tended to 
disentangle the idea of the Kingdom of God more and 
more from the conception of the existing national 
theocracy, and to prepare the way for the perception 
that the perfected Kingdom would be of an essentially 
different kind. Where perfected covenant fellowship 
is recognised as an inward and personal communion of 
all individuals with God, which, from its very nature, 
cannot be confined to any one country or particular 
place, where it is said of all flesh that " they shall 
come every new moon and every Sabbath to the city of 
God to worship Jehovah," ^ but where also it is said, on 

* Ezek. 47. 1 ff. 

' Isa. 25. 8 ; cp. 26. 19, Dan. 12. 2. 
» Isa. 24. 18 ff., 84. 4, 61. 6. 

* Cp. Isa. 30. 26, 65. 17, 66. 22. ^ Isa. 66. 23. 

«, « 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 101 

the other hand, that every individual in the countries 
of the nations shall worship Jehovah from his own 
place,^ — already there can there be seen shining through 
the thin Old Testament veil the idea of a Kingdom of 
Go(j[, which shall be primarily spiritual and heavenly. 

III. Germs of individual features of Messianic pro- 
phecy lay imbedded in all the institutions of the Old 
Testament theocracy, for at the root of these, as well 
as of all the precepts of conduct prescribed to Israel, 
there lay ideas which originate, on the one hand, in 
the fundamental religious needs of the human heart, 
and, on the other, in those eternal conditions of com- 
munion between the Holy One and sinners, which are 
founded on the very being of God. As, however, the 
precise way in which these ideas came to be actually 
represented and carried out was necessarily determined 
entirely by the character of the external national 
theocracy, the arrangements and ordinances of the Old 
Covenant could offer no real satisfaction to the religious 
needs of the human heart, and could correspond with 
the conditions of communion with God only in a very 
imperfect way. Simultaneously, therefore, with the 
deepening and spiritualising of religious life, the expec- 
tation was necessarily awakened that these arrange- 
ments and ordinances would one day be transformed 
into a shape that would correspond more perfectly with 
their original idea and intention, or else be replaced by 
others, and that by an act of God. This is very 

1 Zeph. 2. 11. 

102 Messianic Prophecy. 

specially true of the institution of sacrifice. In the 
period of prophecy many a godly and enlightened 
Israelite had come to see how little fit animal-sacrifice 
was to secure a true atonement for sin, and how, 
similarly, the washings and other ordinances of cleans- 
ing could have no inwardly purifying eflFect. The 
announcement, therefore, that God would in some 
future time effect in another way the expiation of His 
I^eople's sins^ met a longing already awake. 

Among all the germs of individual features of Mes- 
sianic prophecy, however, that were imbedded in the 
Old Testament institutions, none is so important as 
that contained in the theocratic kingship, for it is from 
it that Messianic prophecy, in the narrower sense of the 
word, grew. Before closing this section,* therefore, it 
is necessary for us to investigate the idea of this insti- 
tution.' Over and above the accounts of the origin of 
the kingship, the Deuteronomic ordinances relating to 
the kingly office, the prophecy in 2 Sam. 7, the last 
words of David in 2 Sam. 23. 1-7, and various scat- 
tered references, a number of the psalms shed a special 
light upon our subject. Of these the most important 
are Pss. 2, 20, 21, 45, (72), 89, and 110.* 

" Cp. e.g, Ezek. 36. 25 ff., Zech. 13. 1. ^[/.e. Part I.— Tr.] 

* Cp. on this D1K8TEL, ''Die Ideedes theokratischen Eonigs," in the 
Jahrbb. f&r deiUsche Theologie, vol. viii. pp. 536 ff., and Oehler's 
article, **Konige, Kbnigthum in Israel," in Herzog' a Healenq/IUopadie, 

* Decisive against the Messianic interpretation of these psalms, and 
for their being referred to definite historical Icings (which ones, we 
need not here ask), are the considerations : Jirst, that there is absolutely 
no proof that the psalmists intended to designate b, future personage ; 
and second, that not a single expression occurs in these psalms that goes 

II fT^M~rl m "Jii— WMna ^~>i^ 

Hie Origin of Messianic* Prophecy, 103 

In the theocracy as founded by Moses there was as 
yet no human kingship. The idea that Jehovah Him- 
self conducted the regimen of His peculiar people, and 
that all rights of lordship belonged to Him alone, was 
carried out with the utmost strictness. True, He made 
use of human organs in the exercise of His kingly 
rule ; Moses himself, his successor Joshua, the judges 
whom He raised up in times of hostile oppression, were 
the leaders and guides of His people. But they were 
not suffered to claim any lordly power or kingly right 
over the people and land of Jehovah ; this was reserved 
entirely for God Himself. Their position rested solely 
and entirely upon the fact that they had received a 
personal commission from the Divine King, in the 
execution of which they were at every moment entirely 
dependent upon Him. As in later times the captain 
of the host stood at the head of all the male citizens 
who could bear arms, without any surrender on the 
part of the king either of the lordly power or of the 
rights peculiar to his office, these commissioned ones 
stood at the head of the people of God, without either 
independent power or kingly right Hence their office 
was not hereditary, and hence also there was always 
a possibility that times might recur in which there 
should be no human leader at the head of the people, 
like the prophets, they were extraordinary organs of 

beyond what, according to the testimony of other passages, might be 
said, particularly in poetic discourse, of some present king. Only 
P& 72 [for this reason bracketed above. — Tr.] will have to be excepted 
as an echo of the Messianic oracles of the prophets, and be referred, 
with greatest probability, to the future Messiah. 

104 Messianic Prophecy, 

the Divine KiDg,.to be " raised up" only when the con- 
dition of the people of God urgently demanded such 
extraordinary help. The establishment of a human 
kingship as a stable and lasting institution implied an 
unmistakable descent from the ideal height of the 
Mosaic theocracy ; it was a materialising and external" 
ising of the Kingdom. The idea of the Kingship of 
Jehovah had not taken such a hold upon the hearts of 
all the citizens as that the occasional raising up of 
individuals, mighty in the Spirit of the Lord, should 
have suflRced for the preservation of the theocracy/ 
In consequence of the actual ethico-religious condition 
of the people, the preservation and consolidation of the 
Kingdom had to seek attainment rather by the external 
institution of a human regimen than by the spiritual 
power of the idea of the theocracy. Herein lay a great 
danger ; for the condition and fate of the theocracy 
thus became in great measure dependent upon the will 
and conduct of the ove individttal who happened to be 
actually in possession of the governing power — a 
dependence which was naturally much greater, and, as a 
rule, much more dangerous than any which could result 
from the position of individuals personally called by 
the Divine King to some extraordinary task. It im- 
plied, moreover, a certain actual rivalry to the King- 
ship of Jehovah, a lowering of His kingly power and 

1 The Song of Deborah (Judg. 5) praises the mithnadd*hh%m ha* am 
(those offering themselves among the people, vv. 2 and 9), who gave 
willing obedience to the summons of Jehovah, but at the same time 
takes some of the tribes to task for withdrawing themselves from the 
holy duty of war. 

The Origin of Metaianie Itopheey. IV5 

r^ht of possession in His people and land His W»i 
of the reins of power became, in a certain d«?gw«. 
secondary instead of immediate— a state of afiaur* that 
might readily appear irreconcilable with the iilea »>f 
the Theocracy, inasmuch as the human king presseut*>a 
himself as the nearest possessor of sovereign ri^htSv 
with power over land and people. 

There was, however, another side to the case. Th* 
human kingship could hardly be said to be really ir«v- 
concilable with the idea of the Theocracy. Only, it 
must be brought so completely into lino wiU» tho 
Divine Kingship, that Jehovah's right of lordship and 
possession should appear at the same tin.e as that ».l 
the king, and vice verm. In this view th« now innti- 
tution was not something alien to the organinui of tU«. 
Theocracy, or in contradiction with its idea ; it pw^ 
sented itself rather as something that had rjrmn out 0/ 

U as from a native germ. 

And if by its erection the Theocracy lo»t «on«.th iiK 
of ite ideal character, there was a count«r.UI«nclnjj 
gain in the external consolidation. wbir=h tl.« M 
condition of the public life of Ut^X rkr««nd.-l, -r 
« experience wWch dated from the timft ot tb« j.ul«<.« 
had tangbt that the security and mh^^M<h,m of .« 
theociatic people, as over agaia,t thdr n*i«hU.ur», t .« 
closer connexion of the individual tnl... w.U, tt.» 
unity of the nati.,nal or^nUm. a.^1 • pr^P^r..- «..- 
d Jo£ public afliir, in Urrr.>t.y wUb th. w.ll > 
Jehovah, coald be secured orAj l-T * P''^'^ "' ^ 

106 Messianic Prophecy, 

what the idea of the Divine Kingship had lost of its 
native force through the relaxation of the ethico-reli- 
gious spirit of the people might fairly be expected from 
its embodiment in a permanent external institution. 
Such a result lay indeed in the path of historical 
development that began with the institution of a 
special priesthood ; it corresponded to the character of 
popular religion in Israel in its earliest form (Mosaism), 
that the idea of the Divine Kingship was as little able 
as the idea represented in the priesthood to assert itself 
in permanent practical validity apart from embodiment 
in a stable external institution. Hence it soon became 
possible to recognise that such an institution filled up 
a hitherto existing gap in the organic system of the 
Theocracy, and that it was an arrangement whose 
necessity to the existence and future development of 
His Kingdom God had from the beginning kept in 
view — always, of course, on the presupposition that 
the king himself conceived his calling and position in 
a way conformable to the idea of the Kingdom of God. 
— Such a conception of the human kingship is apparent 
in the so-called Primitive Document of the Pentateuch, 
in the promises to the patriarchs that kings should 
come out of their loins ; ^ it meets us in the oracles of 
Balaam, according to which the glory proper to the 
people of God culminates in the kingship, in parti- 
cular, in the star that should arise out of Jacob.* On 
the other hand, in the traditions relating to the origin 
of the kingship we are confronted with two different 

^ Gen. 17. 6. 16, 35. 11. » Num. 23. 21, 24. 7. 17. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 107 

points of view which appear in sharp contrast Ac- 
cording to the one/ Samuel is still entirely of the 
mind of Gideon ^ in his view of the inconsistency of 
the human with the Divine kingship. He acquiesces 
in the people's desire for a king, originating as it did 
solely in the perception of the accession of force which 
their heathen neighbours owed to the institution of 
royalty, only after a prolonged resistance and in obe- 
dience to a special indication of the Divine will, but 
continues to recognise in it a serious offence against 
the rights of Jehovah, a rejection of Him as the King 
of the Theocracy ; only reluctantly does he desist from 
the effort to maintain the Divine State in its old strict 
form, which excluded all human kingship. According 
to the other tradition,' on the contrary, Samuel himself, 
as a prophet commissioned by God, called the new 
institution into being, without being forced to it by 
the people. The question, which of the two accounts 
is more in accordance with the facts that actually led 
to the elevation of Saul to the kingly dignity, may 
here be waived. It is, however, historically most pro- 
bable that the human kingship was not all at once 
generally recognised as an institution which fitted 
into the organism of the Theocracy, and that the 
grounds of this initial opposition were able subse- 
quently to claim a fresh validity in view of the evils 
which experience proved to be connected with it* 

^ 1 Sam. 8, 10. 17-11. 15; cp. chap. 12. ' JuJg. 8. 23. 

» 1 Sam. 9-10. 16. 

* The historical criticism, which has proceeded on the lines of Vatkr 
{Biblischt Theologie, pp. 260 fT. ; cp. esp. Wellhausrn, Prole(jormn% 

108 Messianic Prophecy, 

At all events, during the reign of Saul, whose govern- 
ment, more autocmtic than ^Aeocratic, represented, not 
so much the unity as rather the still unreconciled 
contrast of the human and the Divine kingship, and who 
soon found himself in fierce conflict with the existing 
representatives of theocratic power, with prophecy in 
the person of Samuel, and with the priesthood (witness 
the massacre at Nob!), it was impossible that the 
conception of the human kingship as an embodiment 
of the idea of the Theocracy could take firm root in the 
common consciousness, still less develop itself in detail. 
This could happen only when David, a man after God's 
own heart,^ sat on the throne ; when in him the king- 
ship was placed in the right relation to the other 
organs of the Theocracy, especially to the prophets, — 
the relation, viz., that was demanded by the idea of the 
Kingdom of God. Then, for the first time, propfhecy 
itself, in the oracle of Nathan, announces as a Divine 
decree the Tiereditary nature of the kingship ; the elec- 
tion of David and his family permanently associates 
the idea of the theocratic kingship in the closest pos- 
sible way with the house of David, and, as thus asso- 
ciated, it becomes henceforward more and more an 
integral nioment in the conception of the Kingdom of 
God. The last words of David* testify to the early date 
of the expectation, founded upon the promise of the 
eternal covenant with the house of David,* that right- 

etc, pp. 265 ff.), insists, of course, that the opposition between the 
Divine and the human kingship orginated with the Judaism of the 
Exile, or later. » 1 Sam. 13. 14. 

' 2 Sam. 23. 1-7, esp. ver. 5. "2 Sam. 7. 16. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 109 

eous and God-fearing rulers should proceed from the 
Davidic stock, and that with them the light of salva- 
tion should arise in full brilliancy upon the kingdom 
of God, and a condition of rich blessing and joyous 
prosperity be brought about. With the prophets, 
however, the view that the Divine Kingship is in no 
way hindered or limited, but rather fully realised, 
through the Davidic, is absolutely predominant ; ^ and 
their attitude reveals the fruitful germs of fresh insight 
into the saving purpose of God that were implanted 
in the consciousness of Israel along with the idea of 
the theocratic kingship. 

Let us examine more minutely what this idea 
carried with it. In doing so we may, without scruple, 
adduce the utterances of the later and the latest Old 
Testament writings, inasmuch as they are merely 
developments from germs native to the idea. 

The thought underlying the process by which, for 
the consciousness of Israel, the human and the Divine 
kingship were brought completely into line with each 
other was, that the theocratic king, as the " anointed 
of Jehovah," * and as the one chosen by God,^ and set 
up in His house and kingdom,* is the vis/Me representa- 
tive of the invisible Ood-King, As the vicar of God on 

^ Even Hosea fonns in this respect no exception (cp. 8. 5) ; his con- 
demnation of the kingship of the ten tribes (8. 4, 10. 8, 13. 10 f.) 
cannot be made to refer to human kingship in general [contra Konig 
in loc cU. ii pp. 340 ff. ). 

• Cp. e.j7. Ps. 89. 20. 

> Cp. in contrast nvith Hos. 8. 4 : Dent. 17. 15, 1 Sam. 10. 24, 16. 
8. 10, 2 Sam. 6. 21, 1 Kings 8. 16, 11. 84, Ps. 78. 70, etc. 

* 1 Chron. 17. 14. 

110 Messianic Prophecy. 

earth, he is the human organ by means of which 
Jehovah exercises His government over His people. 
His kingship is not merely by God's grace, but also 
in God's stead; his dignity and kingly glory is not 
only something granted by God, it is also the earthly 
antitype of the glory and majesty of God Himself.^ 
On the basis of this conception of the relation between 
the earthly and the heavenly king, the two are often 
named together, and side by side, in order to give 
complete expression to the one idea of the theocratic 
government.^ Hence, further, the covenant, which 
the high priest Jehoiada concludes between Jehovah 
on the one hand and the king and the people on the 
other, — viz. that they should be a people of Jehovah, — 
is at the same time a covenant between the king and 
the people.^ Bebellion against the king is at the same 
time rebellion against Jehovah Himself.* Later writers 
go so far as to say that the king *' sits upon the throne 
of the Kingdom of Jehovah," or even that he sits 
"upon the throne of Jehovah."^ Hence it is not 
surprising that even in earlier times similar expres- 
sions were used by poets. Thus, for instance, the poet 
of Ps. 45 calls the king's throne the throne of God 
(ver. 6).® Similarly, according to Ps. 110. 1, God said 

1 Cp. Ps. 21. 5, 45. 3, with Ps. 96. 6, 104. 1, 111. 3. 
' Cp. e.g. Prov. 24. 21, Hos. 8. 5 ; also 1 Sam. 12. 3. 6. 
» 2 Kings 11. 17. 

* Cp. Ps. 2. 2 ; also Prov. 24. 21 and Isa. 8. 6. j 

» 1 Chron. 28. 6, 29. 23. j 

' The rendering of kis'dkhd *£lohim, "thy God-throne," seems after 
all the simplest ; there is no objection to it on the score of grammar 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. Ill 


to the king : " Sit thou on my right hand till I make 
thine enemies thy footstool," which, strictly speaking, 
does not imply so much as the expressions previously 
cited; for, besides the first rank and the highest honour 
next to God Himself,^ it ascribes to the king pro- 
perly, only the highest degree of participation in the 
sovereignty of God — not, however, the representation 
of the invisible King Himself.^ By his being appointed 
the organ through whom the heavenly King conducts 
the government of His people, the foundation is laid 
of an altogether peculiar and close relation of fellow- 
ship between God and the king — a relation expressed 
in the fact that Jehovah is called his father^ and the 
king Jehovah's son. This designation belongs solely 
to him, not even to the priest or the prophet — or any 
other individual Israelite. It is applied, besides, only 
to Jehovah's peculiar people as a whole, and to them 
only on the similar ground of the election. As, there- 
fore, Israel was among the nations, so was the theocratic 
king among the Israelites, in respect of the altogether 
unique relation to God. The God-sonship of the entire 
nation culminates in the king's personal sonship, just 
as Israel's holiness and priestly character culminate in 

(cp. UuPFELD on Ps. 45. 6). It in hard to see why ^oldtn wcCtdh 
cannot be as good a predicate as l^oldm vxCidh (Lam. 5. 19), 
or as l^oldm (contra Ewald and Hitzig). In other cases surely, 
according to Ewald himself, a substantive can stand as predicate in 
place of an adjective (cp. Ewald, § 296b). There would, however, be 
no material difference even were we to translate with Ewald, Hitzio, 
and others, " Thy tlirone is (a throne) of God for ever and ever." 

1 Cp. 1 Kings 2. 19, Ps. 45. 9. 12, 1 Mace. 10. 62 f., Matt. 20. 20 ff. 

* The explanation of Ewald — favoured also by Diestel (in loc, cit, 
pp. 563 f.)— which requires us to interpret the sitting at the right 

112 Messianic Prophecy, 

the high priest ; in the one case as in the other, that 
which in virtue of the Divine election belongs to the 
nation as a whole^ is summarised and intensified in the 
person of one individual, who is the object of special 
Divine election. The immediate proof of God's fatherly 
relation to the king lies in the fact that He shows him 
special paternal love and care, takes him under His 
protection as a sanctified and inviolable person/ and 
exorcises towards him all the careful discipline of a 
father; while the king, as Jehovah's son, relies con- 
fidently upon his God, and upon the rock of his 
salvation ; yet is, at the same time, bound to childlike 
obedience.^ If he fail of such obedience,* God chas- 
tises him, but does not reject him or his house. As for 
Abraham's sake He never issues a warrant of destruc- 
tion against Israel, but always gives him fresh proof 
of His grace ; so for David's sake he never suffers His 
grace to depart from the king, nor his house to perish.^ 

hnnd of tho ))0«itiun of tho king in the victorious war-chariot, on 
which (}nd and tho king go out to battle (cp. Ps. 44. 9, 2 Sam. 5. 24) 
IM covtainly incorrect Tlie analogous utterance, ver. 4, shows clearly 
that the reference is to what the king of the theocracy cm such m, 
not to any special Divine assistance in war. How little we are at 
lilKrty to take the details of tho picture presented in the foUowing 
Tersoii (which actually do describe the king's going forth to war) with 
absolute literal ness — foi^tftil of the character of poetic discourse — 
appears at once Arom ver. &, where the relations are revetaed, and 
Jehovah is at the right hand of the king. On the meaning of the 
ckM (until), however, cp. t.g^ Qeu. 28. 15. 

> Cp. 1 Sam. 24. 7. 11, 20. 9 f., 2 Sam. 1. 14. 

> (> 2 Sam. 7. 14. 1 Chron. 22. 10 f., 2S. 6, Ps. 89. 26 ff. 

* C|\ 1 King« 9. 4 f., 1 Chron. 28. 7. 

* 2 Sam. 7. 14 f., Pa. $9. 28. Dii&^teu in loc. riL p. 559, refers 
appM))4iately to the historical illustration of this idea in 1 Kings 15. 
4 f., 2 Rings 8, 19. It is, in fact, one of the ideas which determines 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 113 

— But just as God's fatherly rektion to Israel implies 
that, as his Creator and Maker, He has made Israel 
what he is, — an independent people and the people of 
God,^ — so there is implied in the designation of God, 
as father of the theocratic king, that his kingship 
originates from God, and rests upon a transference 
to him of God's own kingly power,^ 

As the organ of Jehovah's kingly government of 
His people, the first business of the theocratic king 
is to defend the kingdom of God against the attacks 
of heathen peoples, and secure its prestige and power 
beyond its own border, that the people of God may 
dwell in peace and safety, and take among the peoples 
of the earth the position that becomes them. He 
delivers them from the power of their enemies,^ accom- 
plishes the punishment ordained by Jehovah against 
nations who have wronged His kingdom and people,* 
and, in general, conducts the wars of Jehovah.^ For 
such an exercise of the duties of his calling he is fitted 

the pragmatism of history-writiiig in the Books of Kings. Besides 
the above passages, cp. 1 Kings 11. 12 f. 32. 36. 39, 2 Kings 19. 34, 
20. 6, and the close of the book. 

^ Deut. 32. 6, Isa. 48. 1. 15, 45. 11. 

' Cp. Ps. 2. 7. From what we have noted above regarding the 
relation of the kingly dignity to that which belongs to the whole 
people, the reason of the ascription by the "Great Unknown" (Isa. 
55. 3 ff.) of the chcu^dhi Dhdvidh haniithndnifn (sure mercies of 
David), as well as of the priesthood to the people of God, as a whole 
becomes intelligible. According to his representation there is in 
the perfect time no longer either a special priesthood or a special 
kingship. The election of the entire people is bronght np to the 
level of the election that had hitherto been the privilege of priest and 

* 1 Sam. 9. 16, 2 Sam. 3. 18. « 1 Sam. 15. ^ 1 Sam. 25. 28. 


114 Messianic Frophtcy. 

by the almighty power of God. Jehovah girds him 
with power, endues him with the warrior's courage 
and hardihood, and gives him success in all his under- 
takings.^ He Himself supports him with the ready 
help of His right hand (Ps. 20. 6); His hand is ever 
with him, and His arm strengthens him ; He *' beats 
down" his adversaries before him (Ps. 89. 21 ff.), and 
makes all his enemies his footstool. Thus in the 
power of his God, the king overcomes and subjects 
or else annihilates all enemies of the kingdom.^ 

In relation, similarly, to the internal conditions and 
circumstances of the theocracy, the king is the executor 
of the royal will of Jehovah; his judicial activity 
secures the maintenance of justice, and the authority 
of the law in the kingdom of God : he punishes every 
rebellion against the will of God, crushes the insolence 
of the violent, helps the poor and the needy to their 
rights, preserves thus order and peace, and is to the 
land as refreshing rain; under his government the 
righteous spring forth and blossom.' It is also part 
of his office to see to it that the people keep faith 
with their God, honour Him, serve Him; it is his 
duty to put down and punish all idolatry, invocation 
of the dead, worship at high places, and the like,^ and, 
in general, to be the principal overseer, manager, and 
leader in all matters pertaining to worship.* He has 

1 Ps. 18. 29-43, 2 Kings 18. 7. 

« Ps. 2. 8 f., 21. 8 flf., 46. 4 f. 

» Prov. 16. 12-16, 20. 8. 26 ; cp. Ps. 72. 1-7. 12-15. 

* Cp. 1 Sam. 28. 8. 9, 2 Kings 18. 4 ff., 23. 4 if. 

^ 2 Sam. 6, 2 Kings 12. 6 ff. 

T?ie Origin of Messianic Prophecy. 115 

thus to labour to secure that the will of God should be 
in every particular recognised and accomplished in His 
own kingdom. And for this side also of his appointed 
task he is furnished by God with special gifts of govern- 
ment, as, e,g,^ Solomon was qualified to exercise the office 
of judge through the wisdom granted to him.^ It is 
cleax from all this that, by the exercise of his royal 
functions in war and in peace, abroad and at home, 
the king became the mediator through whom Jehovah 
imparted help, salvation, ami blessing to His people. 

It is, of course, to be understood that the whole 
content of the idea of the theocratic kingship, as we 
have hitherto developed it, rests on the supposition 
that the king himself is really possessed of the 
disposition, imperative in a representative of the 
invisible King, that he honours God, to Whose un- 
deserved grace he owes all his dignity, in deep 
humility,^ trusts Him implicitly, and offers Him 
joyful thanks for His help ; ^ that he loves righteous- 
ness and hates unrighteousness,^ being like God HimseK 
in his intolerance of wicked men near to his person 
or among his servants, and that he accepts in all 
earnestness the trust to secure that the ordinances of 
justice be maintained in his kingdom, and the theocracy 
become in truth — what it is intended to be — a kingdom 
of righteousness and peace ; ^ in short, that his royal 
will become, through his willing and complete obedience 

1 1 Kings 8. 4 ff. ; cp. 2 Sam. 14. 17. 20, 19. 27. 

« Cp. 2 Sam. 6. 21 f. « Cp. e.g. Ps. 21. 1. 7. 

♦ Ps. 45. 4. 6 f. » P8. 101. 

116 Messianic Prophecy. 

to Jehovah, one with the vnll of the invisible King. The 
will of God is made known to him partly from the 
law,^ partly through the prophets, whose duty it is, in 
the event of his disobedience, to bring his sin home to 
him, and to threaten him with God's judgment The 
ideal theocratic king, however, is one who has been so 
changed in heart by the Spirit of God, and so fitted 
for the service of Jehovah, that he is himself inwardly 
impelled to do what God wills should be done through 

As the theocratic king is the representative of 
Jehovah, whose dominion extends over all lands and 
peoples, and who will one day be known and acknow- 
ledged by all peoples as God and King, it is only 
a necessary consequence of the position and dignity 
assigned him by God, that he should be the first and 
the greatest among the kings of the earth,^ and that 
his dominion slwuld he an unlimited one; it is ordained 
that all kings pay him homage and all peoples serve 
him, and one day they will actually do so ; he must 
rule from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of 
the eaith, for God is ready to give him what belongs 
by full right to His son ; and what the Almighty wills, 
He also gloriously carries out> — As, finally, the throne 

1 Cp. Ps. 18. 22 f., 2 Kings 11. 12, Deut. 17. 18. 

« Cp. 1 Sam. 10. 6 f. 9, 16. 13. » Ps. 89. 27. 

* Ps. 2. 8, 72. 8-11, 89. 25 ; cp. Ps. 18. 44-46 and 2 Chron. 32. 23. 
DiESTEL (in loc. cit. pp. 570 ff.) is right in drawing attention to the fact 
that it is impossible to estimate aright the significance which the 
Israelites attached to the idea of a world-dominion, unless we realise, 
on the one hand, their limited geographical horizon, and, on the other, 
the very loose relation of dependence in which, in Anterior Asia, 

The Or^n of Measiante Pro^ucy. Il7 

of God eudutes for ever} eo also the throne of the 
theocratic king ; the Kingdom of God, over which he 
is placed, is &n everlasting Kingdom, whose kingship 
is granted to him for ever, because of the election ol 
David, from which Jehovah cannot go back. This, ot 
course, does not imply the eternal longevity of the 
individnal king, — altbongh in poetic hyperbole even 
this is assigned him,' as in court-language it is wished 
to him,' — but only that the kingship is the property 
of his honae* and in that sense the eternal possession 
even of the individual — the same sense, viz., in which 
the priesthood of Aaron and his sons is an eternal 

Hitherto we have regarded the king as the repre- 
sentative of the invisible Divine King. But as standing 
at their head, the king is also the natural representative 
of the people. He is so to God as well as to other 
peoples and kings. And as this people, in virtue of 
their election, are a people of priests,' so to him, in 
virtue of his special election, in which that of the 

dominion ovor ootljiug peoples Uinally consisted. — The dresa in whicli 
tha ftncy of the Israelites necewarilj clothed it must not, bowerer, 
allow nB to forget the thOTXnighljf idtai charaeUr at the conception. 
The pictnre, moreover, in which the Israelite, baaing npon hig limited 
geoKnipbictl horizon, and following the political ideas of his time, 
might portray the world-dominion of the king who reigned in God's 
xtead, was one after all of very indefinite outline — as indeed, consider- 
ing the natnre of such ideal conceptions, it behoved to be. The 
(lermano- Roman empire presents, at least in ita time of bloom, a 
notorioos' analog; to the theocratic kingdom of tli« larnelitts : iu LIiu 
iile« of both world-dominion is an integral moment. 

>Ps.*6. a. 'Pk. 21. 4. ' 

* 2 Sam. 7. 12-10. 29, 1 KingH 9. C, 1 Chnm. 2». 4, Fa. Se. 2S l A« f. 

• Cp. Bi. 40. IS, Nam. 25. IS. " Ei. 19. 6. 

118 Messianic Prophecy, 

people culminates, there must be assigned the highest 
degree of priestly dignity. The Theocratic Kingdom 
must be — ^according to its idea — a Kingdom of Priests. 
History testifies, further, that the kings regarded them- 
selves as the chief trustees of the priestly function, even 
though in all probability they did not usurp the elder 
privilege of the house of Aaron to exercise the priestly 
rights and duties pertaining to the sanctuary, in particu- 
lar, the ritual of sacrifice ; or, if they did so, as according 
to the Chronicles Uzziah did/ they met with the most 
pronounced opposition.* In the festive fetching of the 
Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem, David not only 
wears the priestly dress, the linen ephod,* but he dis- 
penses to the people the priestly blessing * and deems 
himself warranted in transferring the high priestly 
office to Zadok and Abiathar. Solomon, too, imparts 
to the people the priestly blessing,^ ordains a religious 
feast,^ and deposes one high priest to install another.^ 
That, in general, the king bore the principal part, by 
way of oversight and management, in all the cere- 
monies of religion and worship, has already been noted 
above. Even Uzziah's oflfering of the incense requires 
us to suppose that a special priestly dignity was actu- 
ally conceded to him ; finally, because the king, as 
head of the people, is their representative before God, 

» 2 Chron. 26. 16 ff. 

' On the passages which seem to aasigu to the Davidic kings the 
management of matters pertaining to the priesthood, op. art. 
" Priester " in the HandwGrterbuch des biUiscJien Alierthuma, p. 1222, 
edited by me. 

* 2 Sam. 6. 14 ; cp. 1 Sam. 22. 18. ^ 2 Sam. 6. 16 ff. 

* 1 Kings 8. 14. 65. • Ver. 66. ' 1 Kings 2. 26 f. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 119 

they share the punishmeut of his sin ; ^ just as for an 
error of the high priest, or of the priesthood in general, 
the wrath of God strikes the whole community.* — 
Hence it cannot surprise ua that in Fs. 110. 4 we 
should read of a sworn promise of God to the king, 
appointing him a priest for ever after the order of 
Melchisedek, — an utterance which we may have all the 
less scruple in referring to the king actually in office 
in the time of the poet, that the addition " after the 
order of Melchisedek " expressly forbids us to think of 
the special rights and duties of the Aaronic high priest, 
particularly the mediatorial function in the offering of 
sacrifice ; for of Melchisedek tradition relates only 
that he blessed Abraham, and received from him the 
tithes; it does not say that he offered sacrifices: it 
ascribes to him, that is to say, only those priestly 
actions which by the express testimony of history 
both David and Solomon performed 

Such in its essential features is the idea of the 
Theocratic Kingship. Manifestly it includes such lofty 
conceptions and awakens such lofty expectations, that 
here also historic reality necessarily lagged far behind 
the idea. In the early days of the kingdom under the 
house of David, when as yet, for the most part, good 
energetic rulers, well disposed to the Theocracy, sat on 
the throne (David, Solomon, Asa, Jehoshaphat), general 
contentment with the measure in which the idea had 
attained realisation was — apart from the disruption of 

^ Cp. €.g. 2 Sam. 21. 1 fT., 24. 1 ff., 2 Kings 28. 26 f., 24. 8 f. 
* Cp. e,g. Lev. 10. 6. 

120 Memanic Prophecy. 

the ten tribes — possibla In this time and even later, 
when kings of the like character adorned the throne, 
it was possible for poets to refer the contents of the 
idea of the Theocratic Kingship to the contemporaiy 
sovereign, and thus always the more fully to unfold 
these contents themselves and implant them in the 
consciousness of the people. For it is of the very 
essence of poetry to transcend the limits of empirical 
reality with its imperfections and deficiencies, and so to 
regard and present it as it appears to the eye of the 
inspired enthusiast — i.e, as penetrated and transfigured 
by the light of the idea.^ — It was natural also that, so 
long as the memory of the magnificent period of the 
reigns of David and Solomon remained fresh, the eyes 
of those who found the contemporary kingship in con- 
tradiction with their cherished ideal should still turn 
to the fair and brilliant days of the past The farther, 
however, these palmy days of the kingdom receded into 
the distant past, the more frequently the experience 
recurred of a glaring contradiction between reality and 
ideal, through the presence on the throne of weak and 
unrighteous kings, who were unfaithful to the pure 
Jehovah-religion ; and the more psalmody contributed 
to present the idea of the Theocratic Kingship in all tlie 
fulness of its wealth and glory ,^ the more proportion- 
ately did this idea inevitably direct the eyes of godly 
Israelites to the future — the more, i.e., did it become 
certain to them that the true King of the Theocracy 

^ Hence the typico-Messianic psalms. 

2 Cp. DiESTEL in loc, cit. pp. 548, 678, 687. 

TJie Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 121 


could not beloDg to the present, with its conditions and 
circumstances, at all, but was to be expected only in 
the *' last days," for then only would the whole King- 
dom of Grod attain completion. There grew thus from 
the idea of the Theocratic Kingship the prophecy of the 
Messianic king, who, owing to the fact that this idea 
was in its earliest origin indissolubly associated with 
the kitigship of the house of David, was designated an 
offspring from the stock of David, and was character- 
ised as the perfect human organ by means of whom the 
invisible King conducts the government of His people. 
All that is great in the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah 
regarding the future Messiah is only the unfolding of 
the germs contained in the idea of the Theocratic King- 
ship; with these prophets, however, the germs have 
already attained their full development, except that the 
element of priestly dignity appears in its final definite- 
ness only in the later conceptions of the Messianic 

We have thus shown that Messianic prophecy is to 
be regarded as being in its main features the organic 
development of germs which the Old Testament religion 
from the first carried in its bosom. The same is true 
of the individual Messianic passages. They contain 
no new features which cannot be shown to stand in 
some sort of organic or genetic connexion with those 
already existing, or which, consequently, the Spirit of 
God might not have wrought in the spirit of the 
prophet through a normal psychological medium. No- 

^ Jer. 30. 21 ; cp. Zech. 3 and 6. 

122 Messianic Prophecy. 

where do we find anything that is not essentially con- 
ditioned and determined by an accompanying germina- 
tion of the Old Testament faith. 

We are certain that, in so saying, we do not miss 
the truth that a prophecy was never produced by the 
will of man, but rather that " holy men spake as they 
were moved by the Holy Ghost." ^ The objective reality 
of a revelation is not impaired by the fact that the 
revealing operations of the Divine Spirit proceed 
always within the laws of man's spiritual life ; neither 
is it impaired by a candid acknowledgment of the 
conditioning and determining influence exercised upon 
a prophet's revealed message by the prior elements of 
his consciousness. Without the continuous revealing 
and enlightening operation of the Spirit of God, the 
development of Messianic prophecy from the Old 
Testament creed would have been impossible. No 
germ becomes a plant apart from the presence of the 
outward conditions suitable to its development; yet 
for all that the growth is organic — ^something proceed- 
ing from within outwards. So also prophecy does not 
grow apart from the revealing activity of the Spirit of 
God ; yet its development also is from within outwards 
— ^it starts, i.6., from what is already within the mind 
of the prophet. And even if prophecy is, as we affirm, 
but an unfolding of germs native to the Old Testament 
faith, yet, just because this unfolding is not accomplished 
simply by the exercise of the prophet's own under- 
standing and reason, but by the special revealing 

2 Pet. 1. 21. 

The Origin of Messianic Prophecy, 123 

activity of the Spirit of God, the prophetic conscumsTiess 
runs, in the process, far in advance of the ordinary 
development — through the slow human process of history 
— of the religious consciousness of Israel, gives it line and 
goal, and thus secures it against the delays resultiTig fronn 
the errors, stoppages, and retrogressions whicli are the 
invariable accompaniments of a course of historical 
development. Only he who has lost faith in the living 
God can suppose that what presents itself to one point 
of view as the product of ordinary historical develop- 
ment cannot be the result of a personal operation of 
the transcendent God, Who continuously intervenes 
in that ordinary process with imperative and decisive 
effect. But he who knows the living God, recognising 
always in history the hand of Him Who holds the 
reins of Universal Government, will never fail similarly 
to recognise in the development of religious truth the 
revealing activity of that God Whose light alone can 
illumine our darkness. 



TVTESSIANIC prophecy is an essential coTiMituerU of 
^^ prophetic discourse. For it was the task of the 
prophets to aim steadily at the result of Israel's be- 
coming more and more in reality what, by the electing 
grace of God, he was * ideally and by destination — a 
holy and priestly people, the peculiar possession of 
Jehovah, occupying a position of substantial communion 
with his God. For the fulfilment of this task it W6W 
imperative that the belief in the glorious goal of 
Israel's history, established on the one hand by the 
unalterable decree of God, and contradicted on the 
other by the misery of the present, should be ever and 
anon freshly and victoriously reaffirmed, that the con- 
sciousness of their great destiny might be kept alive 
among the people, and developed with increasing 
clearness and completeness. Hence none of the pro- 
phets neglects to point to the end of the ways of God. 
Even Amos, for instance, though he appears before the 
people chiefly as a preacher of vengeance and as the 
herald of a judgment already on the way, must, at least 
in the end, hold out to the godly and repentant the 

The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy. 125 

winning prospect of the salvation of the perfect time. 
And so throughout we find in all the prophetic writings 
— even the most insignificant — at least something in 
the shape of a Messianic oracle. 

In its most general and essential features, moreover, 
Messianic prophecy is the same at all times and with 
all the prophets, God's judgment upon His unfaithful 
people, with a view to their chastisement, purification, 
and sifting ; the conversion of the people — or at least a 
remnant of them — to their God ; judgment upon the 
heathen peoples, — into whose power Israel had been 
delivered, and who had insolently transgressed the 
limits of their commission and sought the total destruc- 
tion of the kingdom of God ; the redemption of the 
people of God ; and, finally, the spiritual salvation and 
the external blessing of the accomplished covenant- 
communion of Israel with his God, living among His 
people and by His kingly government creating right- 
eousness and peace in His Kingdom, — ^such are every- 
where the main features of the picture which the 
prophets draw of the historical course of the Kingdom 
of God to its goal of perfection. The details of the 
picture, however, vary very considerably with the times 
and with the prophets. At one time the prominent 
feature in the Messianic delineation is external, earthly 
prosperity — the power and prestige of the people of 
God, security against enemies, the wonderful fruitful- 
ness of the holy land, etc.; at another, prominence is 
given to spiritual salvation — the forgiveness of sins, 
the ethico-religious renewal of the people by the out- 

126 The Historical Character 0/ Messianic Prophecy: 

pouring of the Spirit of God, the intimate commanion 
of life and love which every individual will enjoy with 
God. In one place the blessing is promised exdnsively 
— ^to Israel alone ; in another the promise is universal 
— to all peoples. One prophet ascribes the accom- 
plishment of the salvation of the perfect time solely to 
Jehovah Himself, another connects the dawn of the 
Messianic time with the appearance of the Messianic 
king, while a third represents the true people of God 
as the organ used by Him to carry out effectually His 
decree of grace. The perfected Kingdom appears now 
as one that corresponds with the existing Old Testa- 
ment economy — it has its central sanctuary in the 
temple at Jerusalem, its special priesthood, its ritual of 
sacrifice, including even sacrifices of propitiation, etc.; 
now it is represented as something very different from 
the old regime, for the special theocratic offices are 
declared superfluous, and in consequence the old classi- 
fication of the people and the old form of worship call 
for renewal — ^A much larger element of variation in 
the form of Messianic prophecy owes its origin, how- 
ever, to the constant changing of the features borrowed 
from contemporary history. In one place, for instance, 
it is sufficient that Israel should be secured against 
the attacks of neighbouring peoples; in another, the 
oppressive yoke of the Assyrians must be shattered ; 
in yet another, the Chaldean world-empire must be 
destroyed, God's people brought back from the land of 
captivity to the holy land, and Jerusalem and the 
temple rebuilt, that the promised era of salvation may 

Its' Adaptation to the Times, 127 

begin. Indeed, nearly every picture of the Messianic 
time has its special colouring, borrowed from contem- 
porary events. 

This variety in the shaping of Messianic prophecy 
is due in part to the mental peculiarities of individual 
prophets, and to their particular religious standpoints ; 
in part also it results from the gradual character of 
the process by which God's saving purpose is revealed. 
But by far the most important reason is to be sought 
in the qualifying and determining influence exercised 
upon the Messianic oracles of the individual prophet 
by the historical conditions and circumstances of the 
immediate and ever-varying present. 

The first point needs no detailed explanation. No 
one will deny that even in the sphere of Messianic 
prophecy the differences of individual prophets in 
character, gifts, disposition, experience, progressive 
development, make themselves felt. These differences, 
it will be allowed, affect such points as the tone and 
setting of the discourse, the choice of pictures, the 
predominance of the verbal or the visionary method of 
revelation, the natural simplicity or the richly-signifi- 
cant play of symbolism that surprises the reader, the 
plain, concise presentation of the vision or its artistic 
and detailed description, the now larger and the now 
lesser width of horizon, and the like. We have, how- 
ever, spoken of differences in religious standpoint, and 
on this one point a word of explanation may be neces- 
sary to guard ourselves against misapprehension. We 
do not, of course, mean any difference that would com- 

128 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

promise unity of spirit: all the prophets start from 
the same fondamental convictions,, all have in view 
the same goal. We are surely warranted, however, in 
asserting that, quite apart from this spiritual unity 
that everywhere attests itself, individual prophets differ 
from one another in the attitude they assume to the 
law and the institutions of the Old Testament theo- 
cracy. All of them, indeed, take up a position that is 
neither outside of nor above the law, but in its centre, 
for they intrench themselves in its inmost essence ;^ 
but upon this standing-ground common to them all a 
difference was nevertheless possible in the value they 
might severally assign to what constitutes the circum- 
ference of the law ; the external precepts could assume 
for one a greater, for another a less significance. Thus 
frequently — especially in the elder prophecy — this 
circumference or periphery of the law remains totally 
disregarded, and the entire emphasis is laid upon its 
ethico-religious kernel. In reading an Amos, Hosea, 
Isaiah, or Micah, one might easily suppose that they 
would not have conceded any religious importance to 
the ceremonial of worship or to any ritual precepts 
whatsoever.* How wholly different, on the other 
hand, the attitude of Ezekiel ! Passages such as Ezek. 

^ We do not use the word "law** here as synonymous with "law- 
book " or even with "Pentateuch;" at least with the older prophets 
the law is stiU essentially a matter of oral tradition and announcement. 

' That this,. however, is not the case Smend has shown in detail in 
his dissertation, Mosea apud jrrophetOLS (cp. pp. 87 if., 66 if.), and in 
his treatise, " Ueber die von den Propheten des achten Jahrhunderta 
vorausgesetzte Entwickelungsstufe der israelitischen Religion," in 
Stud, u, KriU 1876, 4 HfL, esp. pp. 656 if. 

Its Adaptation to tlu Times. 129 

4. 14, 22. 26 show the great importance that the 
regulations regarding meats and purifications have for 
liim. And that this is not to be accounted for by the 
later date of Ezekiel, but is to be regarded as a result 
of his pecTiliar religious standpoint, is proved by a 
glance at his contemporary Jeremiah, who has in 
common with him only the emphatic insistance upon 
the Sabbatic commandment,^ but in other respects 
shares the attitude of the older prophets to the cere- 
monial precepts. That such a difference of religious 
view would necessarily make itself felt in the separate 
utterances of Messianic prophecy, must be already 
apparent to any one who followed our remarks on the 
mode of revelation to the prophets (pp. 54 fif.). Though 
it is true that the eternal thoughts of God, which 
attain accomplishment in the New Covenant, nowhere 
entirely free themselves from their specific Old Testa- 
ment investiture, this envelopment will, nevertheless, 
as a matter of course, be more observable in the 
utterances of those prophets who lay more stress than 
others upon the Old Testament precepts and institu- 
tions. And such is actually the case, e.^., with Ezekiel. 
His contemporary Jeremiah may, in the delineation 
of the Messianic time, make incidental reference to 
temple, priests, and oflTerings ;* but his prophecy cul- 
minates in the assertion that the perfected Kingdom of 
God is one in which there shall be no ark, no law 
written upon tables of stone, no unapproachable Holy 

* Jer. 17. 19 ff.; cp. Ezek. 20. 12 ff., 22. 8. 

* Jer. 17. 26, 31. 14, 38. 11, 18. 18 11'. 


130 TJu HisUmcal Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

of Holies, no difference between priests and laity, be- 
tween prophets and people — ^in which, rather, Jehovali's 
presence shall pervade the entire City of God, the law 
be written upon the hearts of all, and all alike shall 
know God, and stand in the same close relation to 
Him.^ There is nothing, on the other hand, so char- 
acteristic of Ezekiel's prophecy as the fact that he 
cannot present to himself even the spiritualised reli- 
gious life of God's people in the perfect time apart 
from its embodiment in the conventional forms. The 
picture he draws of the perfected Kingdom is substan- 
tially the picture of the old theocracy ; only, many of 
the arrangements of the latter undergo a perfecting 
transformation, in describing which Ezekiel deems the 
external arrangements and ordinances of the renewed 
theocracy of such importance that he details even the 
smallest particulars with the utmost minuteness.^ In 
chaps. 40—48 we read that in the new temple even 
sin-ofiferings and guilt-offerings are still offered,^ and 
that on the first and seventh days of the first month 
there is to be performed an annually recurring atone- 
ment for the sanctuary ;* the line of demarcation 
between priests and laity is drawn even more straightly 
than in the law ;* the legal definitions as to the holy 
and the unholy, the clean and the unclean, remain in 
force, and the people are, as formerly, instructed in 
them by the priests;^ circumcision of the heart is 

» Jer. 3. 16 f., 31. 29 ff. -^ Ezek. chaps. 40-48. 

» Ezek. 40. 39, 42. 13, 44. 29, 46. 20. * Ezek. 45. 18 ff. 
» Ezek. 44. 19. « Id, ver. 23. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 131 

associated with circumcision of the flesh.^ In short, 
the mark of the perfect time is not the abolition of 
the old or a total renewal, it is rather such a filling of 
the old forms with the spirit, without which they are 
dead and worthless, as that the reality or substance 
always accompanies the external symbol, and that with 
the ceremony there is always associated the disposition 
of spirit it is meant to embody. Ezekiel occupies thus 
undeniably, even in his Messianic prophesying, the 
priestly standpoint much more than Jeremiah; even 
here the great importance of the ceremonial precepts 
in his religious consciousness is manifest Similarly, it 
might be shown from other instances how the greater or 
less depth gf religious life, and the measure of ethico- 
religious perception, peculiar to the prophets severally, 
exercise a determining influence upon their Messianic 
utterances. Compare, e.g,, — to put the factors of the 
greatest contrast side by side, — the prophecies of the 
second half of Isaiah with those of a Haggai or a Malachi ! 
As to the second ground of variety in the form of 
Messianic prophecy, viz. the gradually progressive 
nature of the revelation of God's saving purpose to the 
prophets, the minute treatment of it belongs properly 
to a history of the development of revelation. Such 
a history has to show how the true character of the 
perfected Theocracy, and the ways and means of its 
accomplishment, come to be recognised by the prophets 
with ever-increasing clearness and completeness. Such 
a presentation of the historical development of pro- 

1 Ezek. 44. D. 

132 The Historical Character of Messianic Propliccy : 

phecy we do not here contemplate,* and we annex the 
remarks it may be suitable for us to make in this 
connexion to our illustration of the third point, viz. 
the qualifying and determining influence which the 
historical conditions and circumstances of the immedi- 
ate and ever-varying present exercise upon the content 
of Messianic prophecy. We mean that the progressive 
development of Messianic prophecy stands in a genetic 
and teleological connexion with the historical course 
of the Old Testament theocracy — a genetic connexion 
because of the influence, just referred to, which varying 
historical circumstances exercise upon it ; a teleological, 
because history, like prophecy, is designed to be a 
preparation and education of Israel for the fulfilment 
of his calling, and for the reception of the Messianic 
salvation ; hence history and prophecy must, if they 
are to cooperate towards the attainment of their com- 
mon goal, in their course of development run parallel 
and keep step with each other. The proof of the influ- 
ence exercised upon Messianic prophecy by changing 
historical circumstances will thus of necessity contain 
many indicative allusions to the gradually progressive 
character of the knowledge of God's saving purpose. 
Accordingly we take for the subject of our investiga- 
tion in this Second Part, The Historical Character of 
Messianic Prophecy : its Adaptation to the Times.* In 

' An attempt in this direction, in many respects successful, is to be 
found in the second principal part of the work of voN Okelli cited 
above ; cp., nevertheless, Stud, tu Krit. 1888, pp. 812 ft 

' [The German is simply Der zeitgeachichUiche CkarakUr der mes- 
eianischen Weissaujung, Our historical can hardly be accepted as a 

Its Adaptation to tlie Times, 133 

treating this subject we shall first bring into focus the 
features, lying to our hand, in the delineation of the 
Messianic era that are obviously borrowed from the 
times, and then endeavour to exhibit the deeper-lying 
genetic connexion between the history and the prophecy. 

I. In regard then to this times-colouring, which at 
once strikes the student as characterising all Messianic 
prophecy, we have nothing substantially new to add 
to what has been already elaborated by Beutheau,^ 
and it is only because nothing is so essential to a 
knowledge of the true historical character of prophecy 
as a proper estimate, such as is as yet by no means 
common, of the concrete features which it owes to 
contemporary history, that we do not feel at liberty to 
rid ourselves of the obligation to offer some explanation 
of this subject. 

The prophet is first and foremost the trustee of a 
Divine commission to his contemporaries. To them his 
entire message is, in the first instance, directed, and 
that not with the view of satisfying any idle curiosity 
that would seek gratification in the lifting of the veil 
that conceals the future ; for, on the contrary, prophecy 
is subservient to the ethico-religious task prescribed to 
the prophet by the actual conditions and circumstances 
of his time. Hence, even when he foretells future 

sufficient equivalent for zeUgeschichtlichf though it is the only single 
word available. — Tr.] 

^ Cp. Berthbau, "Die alttestamontliche Weissagang von Israels 
Reichsherrlichkeit in seiuem Land, " 2nd and 3rd parts, in the Jahr- 
bUchern /iir deutsche TheologUf voL iv. pp. 595 ff., and vol. v. pp. 
486 if. 

134 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy: 

events, the prophet keeps always in view the conditions 
and circumstances of the actual present. From them 
he starts, and in relation to them his prophecy has a 
definite aim. These propositions are not contradicted 
by the fact that it is frequently represented as the 
purpose of a prophetic utterance, particularly of its 
committal to writing, that it should be acknow- 
ledged at the time of fulfilment: that Jehovah had 
long foreseen the particular events in question, and 
that they ai-e the carrying out of a decree passed by 
Him long before. It is notorious that we frequently 
meet with expressions to this efi'ect in Isa. 40—66, 
as well as in scattered references elsewhere.^ It goes 
without saying that a prophecy which announces 
future events is also intended for the future, and 
similarly, that a prophet may be impelled by the 
obtuseness of his contemporaries to write out expressly, 
for the benefit of a more receptive posterity, the word 
of God that can find no entrance into present ears. 
But this does not exclude the fact that the prophecy 
always stands primaHly in a definite teleological rela- 
tion to the conditions and circumstances of the present, 
and is primarily intended for the contemporaries of 
the prophet. Never did a prophet prophesy without 
intending first of all to exercise a determining influ- 
ence upon their inner life and conduct. — What is true 
of prophecy in general is also true of Messianic pro- 
pliccy in particular. It also is intended^ in the first 
instance, to serve a purpose of comfort and warning 

^ Cp. t.g. Isa. 8. 1 ff., 30. 8 ff., 34. 16, Hab. 2. 2 f. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 135 

to the contemporaries of the prophet in their actual 
circumstances. It is designed to awaken and to 
strengthen in the hearts of the responsive the faith 
that, in spite of all the obstacles thrown in its way by 
the unfaithfulness and hard-heartedness of the people, 
the judgments thus entailed, and the power of enemies 
outside, God's purpose of grace regarding Israel will yet 
attain accomplishment ; yea even, that present history 
and immediately impending future events, little as 
human eyes and thoughts may be able to perceive it, 
are part of the way on which a faithful covenant-God 
conducts the people of His possession to their pre- 
destined goal. In order to accomplish this its primary 
object, it Wflw necessary for Messianic prophecy to pla/^e 
itself invariably in intimate relationship with the precise 
ethico-religious condition and outward position of Israel 
at the time, as well as with the immediately impending 
catastropJies of judgment. As often then as the circum- 
stances of the time were substantially altered, the fact 
that Messianic prophecy was directed to the new state 
of affairs involved of necessity that even its general 
features should be differently outlined. Hence a later 
prophet never repeats the known Messianic utterances 
of his predecessor precisely in the same form in which 
he receives them, nor is he content merely to develop 
their meaning more fully, or to define it more accu- 
rately. On the contrary, while holding firmly the 
same fundamental thoughts, he feels himself at liberty, 
in view of the historical circumstances of his own time, 
and of the practical problem which they prescribe to 

136 TAe Historical CJiaracter of Messianic Proplucy : 

hira, to sketch a new picture of the perfect time, 
adopting only those individual features of the fonner 
picture which retain their original significance in spite 
of altered circumstances. Thus Messianic prophecy 
remains ever fresh and living, it ever and again renews 
its youth, and amid all changes of historical circum- 
stance becomes a source of comfort to believing men 
in the sufferings and dangers to which they are actually 
exposed at the moment, strengthens them against the 
doubts presently assailing their faith and hope, and per- 
suades to repentance all who are not wholly insuscep- 
tible, by just those prospects of salvation which are best 
calculated, in their circumstances, to win their hearts. 
What results thus from the destination of Messianic 
prophecy, results equally from its psychologically 
mediated origin. When a prophet brings the Mes- 
sianic salvation into close connexion with the condi- 
tions and circumstances of his time, he is not following 
his own free choice, made with a view to the practical 
problem of the hour ; rather, he is following an inward 
necessity. He cannot do otherwise ; for his prophecy 
has been put into his heart and mouth by God, only 
as it has been organically developed, on the one hand, 
from his previous knowledge of God's will and pur- 
pose ; and, on the other, frotn his knowledge of the 
historical circumstances of the present, from the per- 
ceptions and experiences he has made among his fellow- 
countrymen, and from his information regarding the 
world-historical events and political circumstances of 
his time (cp. pp. 54 flP.). 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 137 

To make this position at once clearer and more 
secure, we mast form a distinct idea of the limits which 
hounded the outlook of tlie prophets towards the future. 
No one, it may be presumed, will deny the general 
fact that there are such limits. But of what sort 
they are is a matter of debate^ and will remain so, so 
long as the traditional and the historico - critical views 
regarding the dates of certain prophecies are in opposi- 
tion to each other. The controversy, however, aflfects 
only a comparatively small portion of the prophetic 
writings. We possess a considemble number of the 
prophecies of Isaiah whose genuinexiess is universaUy 
admitted. The same is true of nearly the whole of 
the Book of Jeremiah and of the whole of Uzekiel ; 
it is true also of the writings of the prophets Hosea, 
Amos, Micah, Nahum, Habbakuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, 
Malachi, and of the first eight chapters of Zechariah. 
Disputes as to the precise dates of individual prophecies 
in these writings, or as to whether certain passages 
here and there are or are not later additions to the 
writings whose name they bear, have no importance 
for our present problem. Will any one, then, maintain 
that this undisputed territory is not sufficiently com- 
prehensive to yield us a well-grounded knowledge of 
the historical character of prophecy, and of the canons 
and laws to which the Divine method of revelation to 
the prophets has voluntarily submitted itself? Or is it 
on any pretext to be held legitimate, after such a know- 
ledge has been actually acquired, to proceed to recognise 
exceptions to the rule that are wholly without pre- 

138 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

cedent, in order to justify the ascription of Isa. 40-66 
to Isaiah, or of the Apocalypse of Daniel to a prophet 
living in the Exile ? ^ The possibility of such excep- 
tions might perhaps be conceded, were it not that in 
relation precisely to those prophecies, on whose behalf 
the concession is claimed, critical reasons of a wholly 
differerU kind have invariably to be thrown into the 
scale of evidence, — reasons which are opposed to the 
traditional view of the date of their authorship, and 
which assign them to a date whose acceptance at once 
brings them completely into line with other prophecies 
by showing them to bear the same historical character, 
and to be subject to the same laws. Such a coinci- 
dence of proofs warns us against the concession of 
exceptions, and justifies us in assuming the universal 
validity of these limitations of the vision of the future, 
and of those canons and laws of the Divine mode of 
revelation to the prophets which the study of the 
proportionately great number of admittedly genuine 
prophecies has taught us.^ 

' Cp. e.g, Delitzsch's closing remarks on Part iii. of Drechsler's 
Kommentar zu Jesatas, p. 391 : '* Bat aach a complete naturalisation 
in the distant future, sustained throughout twenty-seven discourses, 
as we should have to assume in the cafie of chaps. 40-66, is surely, in the 
complete absence of a precedent, surprising. '* Cp. in addition, p. 389. 

« It was gratifying to me to find even K5nio in complete agree- 
ment with me on this point, as in general in the recognition of 
the limits to the prophets' vision of the future ; cp. in loc. cU. ii. pp. 
307 if. In accordance with his fundamental view of prophecy he natur- 
ally proceeds to find the reason of these limits retaining their validity, 
even in the case of those utterances expressly designated as the speech 
of Jehovah, in the will of God to accommodate Himself to the histo- 
rical horizon of the prophets and their hearers. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 139 

What aie these limits and laws ? In the content 
of the prophetic vision of the future we have to 
distinguish two different elements. The one is of a 
more ideal and general nature, the other is more concrete 
and historical. The germs from which the prophetic 
cognitions that go to make up the former have grown, 
are partly the fundamental ideas of the Old Testament 
religion present to the prophetic consciousness, partly 
also the preception of certain general circumstances 
that remain the same in all times. Those prophetic 
cognitions, on the other hand, which constitute the 
other element in the prophetic vision of the future, 
root besides in the acquaintance of the prophet with 
the special historical conditions and circumstances of 
the actual present. 

From the law of Jehovah received by tradition, and 
from revelations to previous prophets, every prophet 
knows the unalterable purpose of Jehovah to preserve 
His Kingdom, founded upon earth, by the exhibition 
of His judicial punitive justice upon God-forsaken 
evil-doers, of His grace and faithfulness towards the 
godly or repentant, and of His almighty power and 
holy majesty against heathen peoples, who seek to 
frustrate His gracious designs, and to conduct it to its 
goal of perfection by acts of judgment and grace, 
which bring salvation to Israel and blessing to all 
peoples. Hence : every prophefs vision of the future 
reaches to the end of the ways of God. The ultimate 
goal of the history of the Kingdom of God is not indeed 
present to the vision of them all with the same clearness 

140 The Historical Cliaracter of Messianic Prophecy : 

and completeness. In the delineation of it there emerge 
significant differences in the degree of religious per- 
ception. But the prospect itself of the complete 
accomplishment of Jehovah's purpose of grace is not 
absent from any of the prophets. The prophecy of 
this goal of perfection develops itself in a special 
degree from those ideas explained in the First Part 
which are implied in the very fact of the Old Testament 
religion and theocracy. Of substantially similar 
nature is the announcement, to be found in many of 
the prophets, of a final conflict between universal 
heathendom and the Kingdom of God, which will 
immediately precede the last time, and will end in the 
complete and for ever decisive victory of the latter, 
and with a judgment upon assailants of the Kingdom, 
such as will annihilate the power of the heathen. We 
find such announcements — developed under various 
forms — first in Joel 3. 9 ff., then in Micah 4. 11-13 
and 5. 4 f., further in Zech. 12. 1 ff., and 14. 3 ff. 12 ff., 
in greatest detail in Ezek. chaps. 38 and 39, finally 
also in Deutero-Isaiah 66. 18 ff. Even these prophecies 
— if we except minute details — owe no special debt to 
the circumstances of the times in which they were 
uttered ; apart from the idea of the Theocracy itself, 
their native soil is simply the conception of the relation 
of hostility — the same for all ages — between corporate 
heathendom and the Kingdom of God, and the historical 
experience that, just because of this hostile attitude 
which the kingdoms of the world, on the one hand, and 
the Kingdom of God on the other, owe it to their 

Its Adaptation to tlie Times, 141 

essential macual differences to assume to each other^ 
the course of the Theocracy lies through hard conflicts 
to ultimate victory and peace. 

As to the other — or concrete historical — element in 
the prophecies relating to the future, it has been 
rightly observed: "Prophecy does not derive its 
knowledge of the future from the content of the 
historical present, but from the counsel of God, who 
ovemiles history, making even apparently opposing 
facts subservient to His ends."^ But how is this 
derivation from the counsel of God effected? Only 
through the Spirit of God assuring the prophet that 
in accordance with the laws of Divine universal govern- 
ment future history must and will shape itself out of 
the conditions and circumstances of the present as known 
to him, in order that the counsel of God, which in its 
fundamental features is also known to him, may attain 
fulfilment.* Hence, as we see invariably, prophecy 
applies to the present and to the immediate future the 
same fundamental laws of God's government of the 
world and His own Kingdom, under whose light 
prophetic historical narrative views the past ; here as 
there, there is the same prophetico-theocratic pragmatism 
governing, in the one case, the representation of what 
has happened, and, in the other, the consideration of 
the actual present and what is to result from it. It is 
only in regard to the prospect of those historical 

* Cp. Oehler, art, " Weissagung " in Herzog*8 Bealencffhlopddie, 
XTiL p. 652. 

» Cp. EwALD, Die Lthrt dtr Bibtl ran Gotf, iii. pp. 204 ff. and 
i. pp. 88 ff. 

142 The Hidcnncal Character of Messianic Propliecy: 

particulars, v^hich stand in some sort of immediate 
connexion with the circumstances of the present, that 
the Spirit of God can assure the prophet ; He cannot 
certify him of those which have no such connexion, 
for the entire consciousness of the prophet offers not a 
single point at which such unrelated knowledge could 
originate. This limitation results from the law of a 
revelation which refuses to be magical — a law which 
the Divine Eevealer has imposed upon Himself^ not 
one by which we seek to bind Him. In virtue of this 
law, every prophet has a definite historical horizon which 
limits his view of the ftUure, The limit may be a 
narrower or a wider one ; but it never reaches further 
than the point to which the present — vieived in the light 
of the Divine purpose — carries the fviure in its bosom. — 
Within this times -horizon, the certainty which the 
prophet owes to the Spirit of God in regard to what 
is contained in the counsel of God may be a perfectly 
clear and definite foreknowledge of individual historical 
facts, which prophecy announces quite definitely and 
unconditionally. Thus, e.g,, Micaiah, son of Imlah, 
prophesies with perfect definiteness that Ahab and 
Jehoshaphat will be defeated by the Aramaeans, volun- 
tarily submitting to imprisonment and offering to be 
treated as a false prophet should his word not be 
fulfilled.^ Amos announces similarly the impending 
destruction of the kingdom of Damascus, and the 
carrying away of the Aramaeans to their original seat 
in Kir.^ Isaiah is perfectly certain that kings Rezin 

» 1 Kings 22. 17 ff. • Amos 1. 3 ff. ; cp. 2 Kings 16. 9. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 143 

and Pekah will not succeed in Capturing Jerusalem, and 
that in less than three years their countries will be 
devastated by the Assyrian armies,^ but that Judah 
also will be hard pressed by the Assyrians, from whom 
Ahaz expects his help.^ Similarly he announces the 
deliverance of Jerusalem from the army of Sennacherib, 
the annihilation of the latter by the immediate inter- 
vention of Jehovah, and the hasty flight of Sennacherib 
into his own land.^ Jekemiah, on the other hand, 
announces that God has irrevocably decreed the destruc- 
tion of Jerusalem and the downfall of the Jewish State 
through '' His servant " Nebuchadnezzar ; in the same 
manner he prophesies, however, also the judgment that 

1 Isa. 7. 7. 16, 8. 4. 

' Isa. 7. 18 if., 8. 5 tr. The comparison of the two last-cited passages 
affords an instructive proof of how the prophets, with the view of impart- 
ing an air of life and forceful reality to their threats and promises, as well 
as of making them more tangible for the people, frequently depict the 
details of an impending judgment or deliverance of Jehovah without 
themfidvts attaching any particular importance to the individual 
featurts of their deHneation, or intending to make the truth of their 
prophecies depend upon their a^ual occurrence. Hence they do not 
hesitate in the reproduction of a prophecy to alter this or that 
individual feature of the picture. Thus in Isa. 7. 18 ff., the prophet 
represents the devastation of Judaea as brought about by the mutual 
encounter of an Assyrian and an Egyptian army — a view of things 
which undoubtedly presupposes that tlie latter will march to Judaea, 
in order to set bounds to the advance of Assyrian dominion ; in the 
reproduction, however, of the prophecy, 8. 6 if., about a year and a 
half later, he mentions only the Assyrians as the instrument of the 
Divine judgment. 

» Cp. csp. Isa. 10. 83 f., 14. 24 ff., 29. 7 f., 80. 27 ff., 81. 5. 8 f.. 37. 
83 ff. The two passages Isa. 80. 88 and 81. 8 f. form another locus in 
proof of our remark in the note above. In the former the prophet 
assumes that Sennacherib himself will fall i^ith his army; in the 
reproduction of the prophecy he says only that the kiiig will fall bnck 
in terror-stricken flight (cp. also 87. 34). 

144 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

will overtake Babylon about seventy years later, and 
the consequent deliverance and return of the exiles ; 
and the same prophet warns the false prophet 
Hananiab, that he will die that very year.^ The 
fulfilment or non-fulfilment of such definite prophecies 
— be they prophecies of salvation or of disaster — is the 
authorised criterion of the genuine or the false prophet.' 
All historical facts, preannounced in these and similar 
prophecies, lie within the times-horizon of the par- 
ticular prophet ; and the foreknowledge of them is to 
be judged of psychologically according to the remarks 
made at pp. 49 ff. — Of the further course of future 
history, on the other hand, which stands in no immediate 
rela^on to the present, so far as the latter is known to 
the prophet, prophecy derives no knowledge from the 
counsel of God. Fresh periods of development in the 
history of the Theocracy, starting under totally different 
conditions and circumstances, as well as also the indi- 
vidual events that belong to them, are veiled even to the 
prophet in the mystery of the Divine counsel. Hence 
it is always but the next piece of the historical road along 
which God will lead His people — that, viz., which lies 
between the present and the next epoch, which makes 

1 Jer. 28. 16. 

' Deut. 18. 22, Jor. 28. 8 f. Cp. H. Schultz in loc. cU. ii. pp. 57 f. ; 
in the 2nd ed. pp. 242 f. Bertheau {Jahrhb. / D, Th. iv. p. 862) 
wrongly limits Deut. 18. 22, which manifestly refers to all definite 
prophecies of the near future, to prophecies of acUvation, The fact that 
false prophecies were for the most part prophecies of salvation, does not 
justify this arbitrary limitation of the natural meaning of the text, and 
passages like 1 Kings 22. 8, Micah 3. 5, and Ezek. 13. 22, show that 
tlie law must have been applicable to false prophecies of dLsastcr as well. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 14%5 

a turning-point in the history of the Theocracy — that 
the enlightened eye of the prophet can survey with 
more or less distinctness. 

This piece of road, however, he recognises as con- 
ducting to the goal which God's decree of grace has 
set for itself; for those ideal cognitions of future 
history already referred to may be compared, as 
regards their relation to that portion of the concrete 
historical progress of the Kingdom of God which is 
actually within the prophet's view, to the sky which 
bounds the portion of country, the view of which is 
commanded by some lofty watch-tower. The goal of 
perfection lies, indeed, as we have seen, open to the 
vision of every prophet who looks into the future. 
There lie beyond his horizon only those stages in the 
historical development of the Kingdom which may inter- 
vene before the course towards the goal of perfection, 
conceived as starting from the point which bounds the 
prophet's prospect, is completed. Here, therefore, we 
mark the/r«^ limit of the prophetic prospect. We are 
fully persuaded that eveiy exegete who is accustomed 
to interpret prophecy, not according to its actual or 
supposed fulfilment, but first and foremost according 
to the sense which the prophet himself attached to his 
words, will obtain from an examination of the admit- 
tedly genuine prophecies precisely the result we have 
just indicated. What might be inferred A priori proves 
itself thus in entire accordance with the actual facts.^ 

^ That even tlie prophecy Micah 4. 10 is not entitled to the claim 
that has been made for it, as supplying the most decisire aigament 


1 46 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

On the second limit to the prophet's view of the 
future we may be brief. It is generally admitted. 
It lies in the fact that the tiTne and hour of the 

against our view (Hestostekbero, Chrvflologie, 2nd ed. i. p. 541), 
can easily be proved, and has been in the main acknowledged even 
by Caspari in his, in many respects, excellent work, Ueber Micha 
den MorasthUen, Ghristiania 1851, pp. 172 S. For Micah does not 
refer to the captivity of the Jews by the ChcUdeaiiM, which happened 
about 130 years after the date of his prophecy, but to a deporta- 
tion of them to Babylon by the Assyrians, This is proved, ^r«^, by 
the general fact that he nowhere speaks of the Chaldeans, but 
always rather regards the Assyrians as the instrument of the divine 
judgment. Even in the Messianic time Assyria is the world-power 
which has to be overthrown (Micah 5. 4 f.). Secondly, the first half of 
4. 10 corresponds manifestly, as regards date, with 3. 12. And in 
Jer. 26. 18 f. it is expressly said that this threat was not fulfilled, 
because Jehovah repented of the evil He had designed in view of the 
conversion of Hezekiah and the people. We are therefore by no 
means warranted in recognising in the captivity by the Chaldeans, 
a fulfilment of this threat in its concrete historical interpretation^ but 
must, according to Jer. 26, refer Micah's prophecy to a judgment 
which was averted in the time of Hezekiah, — a judgment of which 
the agents could have been only the Assyrians. Henostenberg'h 
objections to this Interpretation are simply unscriptural (in loc, cit. 
p. 640). — Micah could well, moreover, prophesy a captive transporta- 
tion to Babylon by the Assyrians. For Babylon belonged at this 
time (the time of Hezekiah) to the Assyrians. As early as the first 
year of his reign (745) Tiglath-Peleser had overthrown Babylon, bearing 
in consequence the title : '* King of Sumir and Akkad," t.e. of 
Babylonia, and later (731) he confirmed the Assyrian supremacy by a 
second campaign (cp. Sghrader, Die Keilinschriften und das Alte 
Testament, pp. 128 if. ; 2nd ed. pp. 231 ff., 249, 259). The Baby- 
lonians, however, constantly endeavoured to regain their independence ; 
the king of South Babylonia, Merodach Baladan L, in particular made 
repeatedly vigorous attempts to throw off the Assyrian yoke. In conse- 
quence of this Sargon afterwards undertook an expedition into Baby- 
lonia in the first year of his reign (721), and, after conquering Merodach 
Baladan, transported some of the Babylonians to Syria (Sghrader 
in loc. dt. pp. 162 ff., 264 ; 2nd ed. pp. 276 ff., 403 ; cp. 2 Rings 17. 
24). — If Micah's prophecy belongs to a date subsequent to this event, 
the historical circumstances were peculiarly favourable to the idea of 
a deportation to Babylonia; but even if the prophecy should be 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 147 

perfect accomplishment of God's saving purpose remain 
concealed from the prophets, as they are indeed even 
from the apostles and the Son Himself, seeing they 

assigned a somewhat earlier date, the glance of the prophet might — 
in view of the known policy of the Assyrinns of securing conquered 
territories hy the method of transplanting populations — easily have 
been directed to Babylonia, which was in special need of such a 
security. Furthermore, Micah's contemporary, Isaiah, in a later 
utterance threatened the steward Shebna with transportation to 
Mesopotamia or Babylonia at the hand of the Assyrians, for one or 
other of these districts must be intended in the " land that is broad 
on both sides'* (Isa. 22. 18) ; and even Sennacherib entertains the idea 
of a deportation to one of them (Isa. 86. 17). But in addition to that 
derived from the historical circumstances, Micah was influenced 
further by a motive derived from his typico-prophetic way of looking 
at history. He is fond of setting future events in parallelism with 
the record of former times (cp. 4. 8, 5. 2). Assyria is in his eyes the 
land of Nimrod (5. 6), aqd the first capital of Nimrod's dominion was 
Babel, Gen. 10. 10. There, in the first seat of a world-power, the 
distress of the peo])le of God is to reach its extremity ; there also, 
however, will be their triumph over the world-power. — It may be 
said, indeed, that Micah's prophecy wa.s fulfilled in the destruction of 
Jerusalem and the captivity under the Chaldeans, inasmuch as these 
events revealed for the first time with distinctness the Divine purpose, 
that the way to the goal of perfection should lie through a cata- 
strophe which involved the complete shattering of the theocracy in 
the external' form in which it existed at that time. We may also 
recognise a ''singular historic coincidence" in the fact that just this 
Bahe/f mentioned by Micali, shoAld have been afterwards the land of 
the Exile. But it biust be frankly conceded that Micah's threat — in 
its concrete historical interpretation — was not fulfilled. He did fwt 
foretell the future historical fact of the GhcUdean captivity oi the Jews, 
and his prophecy does not go beyond the analogy of other prophecies 
because of the mention of Babylon as the scene of Israel's distress and 
deliverance, but keeps within the ordinary limitations and laws. — I 
allow these remarks to stand unaltered, as I concur neither with the 
dictum of Stadk, that Micah 4. 10 "is at all events a vatidnium ex 
eventu" {Zeitschri/t fur die aUtestamentiiche Wisstmchaft^ 1881, p. 
167), nor with Nowack's assumption, that at least the words vbhAHh 
adh'Bdbhil (and thou shalt go unto Babylon), are a later addition 
{id, 1884, p. 286) ; that these words ''utterly contradict all that we 
know of the prophecies of th« Assyrian period " cannot be reasonably 

148 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy: 

are known only to the Father.^ It belongs, however, 
to the nature of all living hope to bring the expected 
boon as near as possible to the present time, and this 
is specially true of a hope that springs from a faith 
in the almighty God, Who has but to speak to 
accomplish the greatest marvels. Hence just as the 
apostles expected the second coming of Christ in glory 
as an event in immediate prospect,^ which in fact they 
themselves hoped to survive, so all the propJiets expected 
t/ie speedy initiation of the Messianic time. The energy 
of their faith and hope attracted the Messianic salva- 
tion to the utmost possible nearness to their own time 
— in other words, hrought it to the very border of the 
times-horizon that bounded their prospect. It is this 
circumstance, and not the visionary character of the 
revelations made to the prophets, which serves to 
explain why the salvation of the Messianic time is 
always the bright background of the picture in which 
they represent the immediately impending judgments. 

Now it lies in the nature of the case that the 
prophetic consciousness, owing to its belief in the 
near salvation of the perfect time, does not distinguish 
carefully between the immediately impending future 
of the Kingdom of God and its final goal, but connects 
them organically with each other, and combines them 

affirmed in view of the i)assages cited above from Isaiah. The latest 
criticism is in general far too ready to assume '^ contradictions," and 
in relation to Micah, in particular, the apparent contradiction of Micah 
8. 12 with a whole series of Isaiah's prophecies, ought to warn against 
such hasty assumptions. 

1 Matt 24. 36, Mark 13. 82, Acts 1. 7. 

» 1 Cor. 15. 51 f., 1 Thess. 4. 16 f. 

Its Adaptation, to tlie Times, 149 

in a single view. Even though the prophet is 
conscious that he cannot accurately fix the time for 
the commencement of the Messianic era, — and except 
in the Book of Daniel we nowhere find exact indi- 
cations of date,^ — yet he sets the conditions and 
circumstances of the present and of the nearest future, 
that shapes itself from them, in immediate relation to 
the goal of history, recognising that the ways along 
whicd God is actually accompanying His people 
assuredly conduct to it And, if his hope presents^ 
this goal to him as near, why should he not in his 
delineation of it encroach upon this present?' He 
necessarily looks at the present and the immediate 
future in the light that is reflected from the end of the 
ways of God, for in this light alone are the riddles 
solved which are involved in the history of his time. 

He kuQws, however, the obstacles which present 
conditions and circumstances oppose to the attainment 
of the goal, and the state of contradiction into which 
judgments that are either impending or are already 
taking effect will throw, or are actually throwing, the 
position of the people of God and their relation to 
heathen peoples with the position and attitude which 
are designed for them in the counsel of God, and 
which they will be permitted to enjoy in security 

^ An exact indication of tlie time when the Meesias should be born 
can be found in laa. 7. 14 ff. only on the supposition that the prophet 
really intends Immanuel as the Messias. But we cannot consider this 
hypothesis correct. No argument in this connexion can be founded 
on the Book of Daniel, which is a late after^growth of the elder type of 

' Vergeffeniodrtigt. ' See Appendix A, Note VI. 

150 The Historical CJiaracter of Messianic PropTiecy : 

after the attainment of the goal. The removal of 
these obstacles and the setting aside of this contradic- 
tion must therefore form a part of his Messianic 
prophecy, if the latter is put into his heart and mouth 
by the Spirit of God only as psychologically mediated, 
and standing in genetic connexion with the cognitions, 
conceptions, and ideas which constitute the stock- 
furniture of his mind. Thus without any conscious 
intention on his part, and following solely an inward 
compulsion, the prophet always gives in greater or 
less degree a times-colouring to his delineation of the 
perfect time, and the final deeds of Divine power 
which bring it about For not only does he himself 
look at the historical present in the light of the 
perfect time, but also vice versa he sees the brightness 
of the latter only in the broken coloured light in 
which the atmosphere of the historical present suffers 
it to appear. Hence it is that we read in the 
Messianic prophecies of the reunion of the kingdom of 
the Ten Tribes with the kingdom of Judah, of the 
restoration of the royal house of David to its former 
power, of the overthrow of the Edomites, Moabites, 
Ammonites, and Philistines, of the crushing of the 
oppressive yoke of Assyria, and the like. — It need 
hardly be said that in such concrete times-coloured 
features we cannot, with Hengstenberg, see mere 
pictures, borrowed from the circumstances in which 
the prophets lived, in order to give a comprehensible 
idea of the character of the Kingdom of Christ.^ — In 

^ Cp. Henostenbbro's Christologie, 2nd ed. iii. 2, pp. 194 ff. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 151 

so far, at least, as the sense attached to their utter- 
ances by the prophets themselves is concerned, the 
fact that they speak of the Messias as a king resident 
on Mount Zion, is not to be set to the mere account 
of their pictorial style. If they say that in the 
perfect time Israel will no more seek help from 
Assyria or Egypt, tJiey do not mean to represent 
merely Israel's faithfulness to his God under the 
pictorial form of a particular arbitrarily-chosen instance. 
The cessation of the dualism between the kingdom of 
Judah and that of the Ten Tribes is not to them 
merely a symbolic expression of the idea that peace 
and love will reign among the people of God. And 
when in their Messianic outlooks they speak of the 
overthrow of the Edomites, Moabites, eta, or of a 
judgment upon Assjrria, Babylon, etc., neither is the 
overthrow to be at once translated into its spiritual 
meaning, nor are the peoples mentioned merely typical 
representatives of the world - power that stands 
opposed to the Kingdom of God. To the prophets 
themselves, and to those to whom their message in 
the first instance came, all such . times - borrowed 
features in their prophecies have a much more 
substantial and immediately practical meaning. Not 
something which they figuratively represent, but what 
they actually say, in the simple meaning of their 
words, is in the eyes of the prophets and their 
contemporaries imperative to Israel's participation in 
his destined salvation and glory ; and it is precisely 
these times - borrowed features that contribute very 

152 The ffiriorical Character of Messianic Frophecy : 

largely to the fitness of prophecy to fulfil its im* 
mediate destination, as described above (pp. 133 ff.). 
The spiritualising evaporation of the entire concrete 
matter of Messianic prophecy is the just consequence 
of Henostenbebg's ^ failure to fulfil the first duty of an 
exegete^ that, viz., of placing himself on the standpoint 
of the Old Testament, and in particular of the several 
prophets, so as to judge of the sense which they 
themselves attached to their words. 

The expectation that the *' end of days " is near, 
occasions, however, not merely the adoption into the 
picture of the Messianic time of features borrowed from 
the times ; it involves, further, the frequent glorification 
of the immediate ftUure in the light of the end of the 
ways of God. An immediately impending judgment 
is not unfrequently portrayed as if it were to be the 
final judgment of the world. This happens especially 
when the prophecy is still of a somewhat indefinite 

' To do justice, however, to Henostenberg's view of the times- 
borrowed features of Messianic prophecy, we must not forget that his 
main concern is always to elucidate the sense which Ood intended in 
the prophetic utterances, and not that which the prophets themselves 
attached to them (cp. the expression of his meaning, cited p. 6). Hence 
his conception has, as we shall see, a certain relative value in cases where 
the interest of the inquiry does not turn on what he calls " the constitu- 
tion of the prophecy " {die BeschaffenheU der Weissagung), but upon the 
exact determination of its ultimate aim, as judged by the fulfilment. 
It were to be wished only that he had himself remained true to his 
postulate that this twofold sense was *' to be accurately distinguished," 
and that he had not so misjudged the historical sense of prophecy ! As 
against his spiritualising exegesis, cp. Delitzsch, Die biUisch-prO' 
phetisehe Theohgie, ihre Fortbildung durch Ohr, A, Orusma und ihre 
netieste HhUunekelung aeii der Chriatologie ffengatenbergs, Leipzig 1846, 
pp. 167 ff. ; Oehler in loc cU, pp. 649 f. ; and Bertheau in the 
Jahrbb./, D. TheoL iv. pp. 622 and 626. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 153 

nature; whereas, so soon as the prophet is able to 
announce definitely the precise mode in which the 
judgment will take effect, the ideal features, represent- 
ing the picture of the last great catastrophe, became 
less prominent in his utterancea An instructive locus 
on this point is the powerful delineation of the im- 
pending day of judgment (Isa. 2), in which every high 
thing shall be brought low, and Jehovah alone shall 
maintain His transcendence above a finally-demolished 
idolatry, as compeared with the more definite announce- 
ment in Isa. 5. 25 ff., that the impending judgment will 
be effected in two acts, and that the Assyrian army 
will be the executor of the second act In the same 
way near-expected times of salvation and grace are fre- 
quently so portrayed that their commencement appears 
entirely coincident with that of the perfect time. 

We cannot pause here to prove in detail how the 
Messianic messages of the prophets, whose delivery 
was spread over the course of centuries, attest the fore- 
going expositions. While referring the reader on this 
point to the discussions of Bebtheau, of which we have 
made frequent mention, we are content at present to 
adduce some loci, for the purpose rather of illustrating 
than of fundamentally establishing what has been said. 

In the case of the oldest prophets whose utterances 
are preserved to us — viz. Joel, Amos, and Hosea — 
the times-horizon of their outlook to the future reaches 
only to the turning-point in the history of the 
Theocracy, that began with the intervention in the 
fortunes of Israel of the world-power of Assyria ; and 

154 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy: 

immediately behind this lies the Messianic time. Al- 
though these prophets clearly recognise that much 
must be altered in the people and kingdom of God before 
the final goal is reached, yet, according to their pro- 
phecy, the history of the Theocracy comes somewhat 
rapidly to its end, and its course is a very simple one. 
With Joel (between 830 and 810) it is entirely that 
of a straight line. In the astoundingly terrible plague 
of locusts and the long-continued dearth, which in his 
time desolated the land and caused a severe famine, he 
saw an immediate indication of the nearness of the day 
of judgment — even the beginning of the final judgment 
itself.^ But when the people respond obediently to 
his call to repentance, he does not hold out any fresh 
threats of Divine judgment against Judah and Jeru- 
salem. On the contrary, after the deliverance from the 
present extremity there follow, without further inter- 
vening catastrophes,* the Divine deeds through which 
Jehovah's purpose of grace attains fulfilment — the 
reunion with the people of God of the Judaeans and 
inhabitants of Jerusalem, who had been held captive 
by the distant sons of Javan ; the universal outpouring 
of the Spirit ; and the judgment of annihilation upon 
the heathen peoples assembled for the final conflict 

^ Joel 1. 15, 2. 1 f. 11. Just here lies a moment in the proof of 
the high antiquity of the prophecy of Joel, to which sufficient atten- 
tion has not yet been paid. The dates Incidentally given in the text 
are justified in the art. *' Zeitrechnung '* in my BibelwOrterbueh. 

* The *achdri'khen (after this) of Joel 2. 28 is, of course, an indefinite 
expression ; but, consideiing the prophet's view, as explained above, 
of the present extremity, we are certainly not justified in regarding it 
as meaning for him a prolonged interval. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 155 

with the Kingdom of God, through which Israel is for 
ever secured against their assaults. Had Joel not left 
the kingdom of the Ten Tribes entirely out of account, 
he would, of course, hardly have represented the way 
to the ultimate goal as so evenly paved. Amos (circa 
760) and his younger contemporary Hosea, whose 
mission concerns principally the kingdom of the Ten 
Tribes, see already somewhat more of what the imme- 
diate future conceals in its bosom for Israel. Not 
simply for the heathen, but for the people of God 
themselves, there is imminent a severe catastrophe of 
judgment. It concerns chiefly the kingdom of the Ten 
Tribes, which will be wholly uprooted, whose inhabit- 
ants — as many of them as have not fallen victims 
to death — will be scattered among the nations. Thus 
will God's judgment remove the evil of a divided 
kingdom. Only the, comparatively speaking, less 
guilty kingdom of the royal house of David, to whom 
God's promise is given, will continue its existence. Yet 
Judah also is struck by the terrible judgment,^ for it 
is intended in general to extirpate all evil-doers from 
among the people of God.* These prophets also fore- 
see that the judgment will be effected by a people who 
have but lately appeared on the scene of history, and 
who come from the far North. But this marks the 
limit of their prospect. This new people have but 
entered within their horizon, and are still half in the 
dark. By Amos, and in the earlier prophecies of 

' Amos 2. 5, 6. 1, Hos. 6. 10. 12 ff., 6. 4, 8. 14, 10. 11, 12. 2. 
' Amo8 9. 10. 

156 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

Hosea (chaps. 1-3), they are not mentioned by name ; 
only in his later prophecies (chaps. 4—14) Hosea points 
to the Assyrian as the principal instrument of the 
avenging judgment, and to Assyria as the land of exile. 
But even there it remains obscure how God will again 
deliver His people from the power of this mighty 
enemy. Similarly, neither of them knows anjrthing 
either of a jvdgment threatening Assyria or of the 
impending downfall of the kingdom of JudaL Deeply 
as the latter will be humbled by the judgment, it will 
yet not sink under the weight of it, like the kingdom 
of the Ten Tribes.^ On the contrary, so soon as the 
double object of the judgment is accomplished upon 
the people of God, — ^the restoration, viz., of the unity 
of the kingdom by the destruction of the specially 
guilty kingdom, and the extirpation of evil-doers from 
the community, or, otherwise, the conversion of the 
remnant of the people, — the time of the Messianic 
salvation is just about to commence, in which Jehovah 
restores the fallen Davidic kingdom in its former bril- 
liancy and power, and makes the kingdom united and 
great as of yore. The people of God will then, how- 
ever, participate in all the external blessings and 
spiritual gifts which are implied in the completeness 
of their fellowship with God. — The immediate relation 
in which the Messianic oracles of these oldest prophets 
stand to the historical circumstances of their time must 
be at once apparent to every one. Joel begins with 

^ The destruction of the kingdom is not to be read into the refrain- 
like announcement Amos 2. 5, repeated almost verbaUy in Hos. 8. 14. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 157 

the comforting promise that Jehovah will completely 
deliver the repentant people from the present extremity, 
destroy the ^locust-army, send henceforward abundant 
and timely rain, and bless the land with wonderful 
fruitfulness ; ^ and towards the end also ' the prophet 
comes back to this just then peculiarly comforting and 
attractive promise. Because, further, the kingdom of 
Judah had, since Eehoboam's time, to suffer much from 
the attacks of hostile neighbours, first from the 
Egyptians ; ^ then from the Edomites, who had invaded 
the land and butchered defenceless inhabitants ; ^ re- 
cently, however, and specially, from the Philistines,* 
who, in alliance with Arab tribes, had forced their 
way into the capital itself, slain most of the royal 
family, plundered palace and temple, and, by means of 
the Phoenicians (who had followed the army as slave* 
dealers), sold the prisoners of war as slaves to the 
Edomites and the distant sons of Javan, — Joel's threat 
of judgment is directed specially against these peoples, 
while his Messianic oracle takes the form of a promise 
of deliverance and return to the captives,^ and of 
security to the kingdom and its capital against the 
attacks of neighbouring peoples. Add to which that 

1 Joel 2. 18-27. * Joel 8. 18. » 1 Kings 14. 25 f. 

* Joel 8, 19. The suffix in ¥*artsdm (in their land) is not, as has 
been assumed from 2 Kings 8. 20, to be referred to the Edomites. It 
has rather to be connected with *dshir, and to be referred to b^ne 
y^hUdhdh : "in whose land they have shed innocent blood." Cp. on 
the order of the words, Isa. 7. 16. Rightly : Credner and W^nbche 
in loco, 

ft Joel 8. 1-18, 2 Chron. 21. 16 f., 22. 1 Am. 1. 6 and 9. 

• Joel 8. 1. 7. 

158 Tlie Historical Clmracter of Messianic Prophecy : 

his whole announcement of the straight . course of 
the history of the Kingdom of God to its goal is 
throughout conditioned by the fact that he cannot 
charge the people of the kingdom of Judah with any 
defection from their God, and that they were ready to 
obey his call to repentance. — Amos is acquainted with 
the prophecies of Joel ; but there is only one feature 
of the latter's testimony — that, viz., of the wonderful 
fertility of the holy land — that he reproduces substan- 
tially unaltered.^ He speaks, indeed, as does also 
HosEA, of a return of the captives, but the captives 
mean no longer in either case the Judaeans sold to the 
sons of Javan, but the inhabitants of the kingdom of 
the Ten Tribes, who, in accordance with the threats 
contained in their prophecies, have been carried into 
exile and scattered among the nations. For the rest, 
the times-colouring of their Messianic promises appears 
particularly in the prophecy of the reunion of the 
entire theocracy under the royal house of David; in 
that regarding the reconquest of the neighbouring 
peoples, especially the remnant of the Edomites ; ^ and 
in the announcement that in the perfect time Israel 
will no longer, as at present, seek his help, now from 
Asshur and now from Egypt.* But in spite of all this 
times - colouring, the oracles of these oldest prophets 
really present to us the end of the ways of God ; we 
need think only of Joel's prophecy of the universal 
outpouring of the Spirit, or of Hosea's beautiful de- 
lineations of the intimate and eternal love-covenant on 

1 Amos 9. 18 ; cp. Joel 3. 18. * Amos 9. 12. » Hos. 14. 3. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 159 

which^ in the last days, Jehovah will enter with the 
people of His possession.^ 

On account of the corruption that had set in under 
the rule of the idolatrous Ahaz, the annouucements 
of judgment in the prophets of the Assyrian period^ 
Isaiah and Migah, — a judgment which the Assjrrians 
should execute even upon Judah, — strike a more 
decided note of condemnation than is heard from the 
elder prophets. Both prophets announce repeatedly 
that only a small remnant even of the Judaeans will 
turn to Jehovah, escape corruption, and, as the true 
Israel, the parent stock of a new elect people, enjoy 
the promised salvation.' Indeed, according to Micah, 
the impending judgment will involve the shattering 
of the existing theocracy, the destruction of Jerusalem 
and the temple, and the carrying captive of the people 
to Babylon.* And even Isaiah prophesied the same 
extreme disaster, not merely in the time of Ahaz,^ imt 
even as late as that of Hezekiah, at the time when the 
king showed an inclination to follow the advice of the 
magnates, and, in spite of the prophetic warning, seek 
his salvation in an alliance with Egypt.^ When, how- 
ever, Hezekiah turned with his whole heart to Jehovah 
— on which account, according to Jer. 26. 18 f., God 
repented of the judgment threatened through Micah — 
Isaiah could again, as he had done before, announce 

' Hob. 2. 20 ff., 14. 4 ff. 

s Isa. 6. 13, 7. 22, 10. 20 ff., Micah 2. 12, 4. 6 f., 5. 8, 7. 18. 

» Micah 1. 16, 3. 12. 4. 9 f., 6. 1, 7. 13. 

* Isa. 7. 17 ff. ; cp. 28. 14 ff. 

* Ua. 32. 9 ff. ; cp. also 22. 1 ff. and 30. 12 ff. 

160 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy 7 

with confident Divinely - wrought certainty that the 
overweening Assyrian would not succeed in taking the 
city of God, and that matters would Tiot reach such an 
extremity as the downfall of the kingdom.* — If, so far, 
the prophecies of Isaiah and Micah are only such 
advanced upon and preciser definitions of the announce- 
ments of an Amos or a Hosea as correspond with the 
progress of historical development and with the ethico- 
religious conditions of their time, their foresight of the 
future is in this respect superior to that of their 
predecessors,^ that they see clearly and definitely, 
hehdnd the judgment of Jehovah upon the kingdom 
of Judah, the judgment of almighty vengeance * which 
will chastise the insolence of the Assyrian, break his 
power, and again deliver the people of God from his 
violence. For, in the meantime, it had become clear 
how serious an obstacle the Assyrian supremacy, with 
its high - flown schemes of conquest and its openly- 
announced intention of putting an end once for all to 
the independent existence of the kingdom of Judah, 
presented to the ultimate carrying out of God's purpose 
of grace towards Israel. Nothing but the complete 
shattering of the Assyrian power could pave the way 
to the erection of the perfect Kingdom. But this 
latter event Isaiah sets in the closest and most 
immediate connexion with the impending deliverance 

1 Isa. 83, 37. 22 ff. ; cp. 10. 82 fif., 14. 24 ff., 17. 12 flf., 18. 4 ff., 29. 
6 ff., 80. 27 flf., 81. 5. 8 f. 

^ With the sole exception of the author of Zech., chaps. 9-11, who 
had given a brief indication of an impending humiliation of Assyria 
(Zech. 10. 11). • Dcuf gevoaltige StrafgericfU, 

Its Adaptation to the Tim48, 161 

of the people of God from the Assyrian tyranny. 
All the judicial ends of God are attained in the 
immediately impending judgments.^ Hence Israel's 
deliverance from the yoke of Assyria is the beginnin^]^ 
of a series of Divine deeds of grace, by which Israel 
is inwardly and outwardly prepared for, and made to 
participate in, the salvation destined for him.* Nothing 
is said of fresh intervening catastrophes. The triumph 
of the theocracy over the Assyrian supremacy lies on 
the border of Isaiah's times - horizon, and he sees it 
transfigured and glorified by the dawn -light of th6 
Messianic salvation. Even though he for once, as in 
the first half of the eleventh chapter, draws an entirely 
ideal picture of the perfected Kingdom, yet he does 
not cease, in the details of the sequel, to give special 
prominence to the great deed of deliverance, that falls 
within his horizon, as the basis and beginning of God's 
final deeds of salvation. This is seen in the fact that 
the latter half of this chapter, in strange contrast 'witli 
the former half, is coloured by references of the most 
pointed and unmistakable kind to contemporary 
events and politics to a degree not surpassed by any 
of the other Messianic utterances of Isaiah. And to 
how great an extent the prophet regards the Messianic 
prospect as one that had already dravm near, he him> 
self expressly tells ns;' and it is indeed already 
apparent in the fact that from the moment the host 

^ T^ 10. 12. 

« Cp. Ifla. 9. 1 ff., 11. n ff., 30. 19 ff., 31. 7 ff., 33. 17 ff. 

3 Isa. 29. 17. 


162 Tlu Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

of Sennacherib was stirred against the kingdom and 
city of God, the prophet necessarily expected the 
principal act of the judgment upon the Assyrians to 
take place in the nearest future. — Only when he has 
seen reason to represent the judgment as one that bad 
risen to the pitch of requiring the destruction and 
devastation of Jerusalem, does he find it necessary 
to shift backwards to a corresponding distance the 
prospect of the Messianic salvation.^ And only after 
the kingdom and capital have been delivered from the 
threatening danger of the Assyrian hordes,^ and 
Hezekiah has incurred fresh guilt by parading his 
treasures and stores of arms, and by his vainglorious 
joy over the honour shown him by the Babylonian 
king, does the prophet, towards the close of his 
ministry, open up the further sad prospect of a fresh 
judgment, which should involve the carrying of the 
royal family captive to Babylon.* 

With MiCAH the dawn of the Messianic time is 
postponed somewhat further than with Isaiah (except 
in Isa. 32) ; for he must place in view the downfall of 
the existing theocracy and the destruction of the capital 
— a perception which requires him to make the rebuild- 
ing of Jerusalem and the restoration of the Davidic 
kingship constituent elements of his Messianic oracle. 

1 Isa. 32. 14. 

' On the decision inyol7ed, in the above, of the question regarding 
the dates of Isaiah's prophecies, cp. the article '* Zeitrechnung " in my 
Bibelw&rterbuch, p. 18136. 

' Isa. 39. 5 if. Always supposing that tradition has given this 
thieatening prophecy of luaiah its true historical place. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 163 

The perspective towards the future is still further 
extended through the prophet's looking beyond the 
enthronement of the Messianic king to a final assault 
upon the Kingdom of God by the united heathen 
world/ Still, Micah's times-horizon is not wider than 
that of his greater contemporary. For him also the 
destruction of the Assyrian world-power means the 
beginning of the restored and completed Kingdom of 
God,^ and the Assyrian appears at the head of the 
heathen confederacy in the final conflict against the 
holy city, suffering the penalty of his ringleader- 
ship in the devastation of his land by the victorious 
generals of the Messianic king.' 

The enthronement of the idolatrous Manasseh con- 
stituted a new turning-point in the history of the 
theocracy. His zeal for idol-worship, the introduction 
of the Baal and Ashtaroth cults into the temple in 
Jerusalem, the bloody persecution of the faithful 
worshippers of Jehovah, particularly the prophets, the 
laxity of the priests, the increasing herd of false pro* 
phets, the general declension of the people, reveal how 
the internal condition of the kingdom of Judah, so 
hopeful on the whole during the reign of Hezekiah, 
reached shortly afterwards a lower stage of degradation 
than it had ever known before. Soon the measuVe of 
guilt was fulfilled. Prophecy begins, in consequence, 
to threaten a fresh and more severe judgment of ven- 
geance, involving the destruction of the capital, the 
shattering of the kingdom, death for some and cap- 

1 Micali 4. 11-13, 5. 5 f. 15. > Micah 7. 8 ff. > Micah 5. 5 f. 

164 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

tivity for others of the people/ — a threat which is 
maintained, even when in the person of Josiah a 
God-fearing king was once more on the throne, the 
judgment being only delayed until the godly king 
shall have entered his rest^ Of the executors of the 
judgment, Zephaniah and even, in his earlier pro- 
phecies, Jeremiah, still speak just as indefinitely as 
did formerly Amos and Hosea ; they are a people who 
come from the distant North, and speak an unin- 
telligible language.' It is only after the Chaldeans 
have begun, in the beginning of the reign of Jehoia- 
chim, to assume, in Anterior Asia, the part formerly 
played by the Assyrians (i,e. after the battle of Car- 
chemish, 606 B.C.), that they are definitely indicated as 
the instrument to be used by Jehovah to execute the 
judgment decreed against Israel and all other peoples. 
— The whole terrible contrast between the position into 
which Israel should shortly fall through his guilt, and 
the great destiny assigned him in God's purpose of 
grace, lay clearly before the enlightened eyes of the 
prophets. They saw quite close at hand a time in 
which the kingdom of God should appear to the eyes 
of men as altogether brought to nothing, and Israel 
must once again, as in Egypt, endure the yoke of 
ignominious bondage far from the holy land. Before 

1 Cp. 2 Kings 21. H ff. 

a Cp. 2 Kings 22. 15 ff., 23. 26 f., Jer. 15. 4. 

' The hypothesis that the prophecies of Zephaniah and of Jer. 3. 6- 
0. 30 find their historical explanation in the invasion of Anterior Asia 
hy the Scythians, narrated by Herodotus (i. 15, 103-106 ; iv. 11, 12). 
I consider untenable. 

Its Adaptation to tlie Times, 165 

their eyes stood also the mighty Babylon, equipped 
with all the implements of power, so as finally to 
secure the world-supremacy she is shortly to snatch 
for herself. But certain as it is that this mighty 
colossus must fall in pieces before the theocracy can 
rise erect upon its ruins, it is still not in it, but in the 
guilt of Israel, whose cry is gone up to heaven, and in 
his stiff-necked obstinacy that the chief hindrance lies 
to the fulfilment of the purpose of election. Because 
of this hindrance the Messianic salvation appears now 
as somewhat further postponed. But the certainty 
that the people of God will yet enjoy this salvation in 
the glorious consummation of the restored theocracy is 
not only firmly maintained by the prophets, but is, 
iti view of the impending destruction of Jerusalem, 
announced with all the more emphatic definiteness.^ 
In the extremity of their judicial sufferings, which, 
according to Jeremiah, are to continue for about 
seventy years,^ Jehovah will accomplish His intention 
of purifying His people and bringing them to full 
repentance. Then He turns to them again in all the 
fulness of His grace and faithfulness. Babylon, that 
has executed His judgment upon all other peoples, must 
herself finally drink to the dregs the cup of His wrath. 
With one blow the whole proud edifice of her world- 
empire falls in pieces. And the shattering of this 
empire is the deliverance of Jehovah's peculiar people 
from the misery of the captivity. The forgiveness of 
their sins,* their ethico-religious renewal effected by 

» Jer. 80-83. » Jer. 25. II f., 29. 10. ' Jor. 31. 34, 33. 8, 50. 20. 

166 The Historical Character of Me&sianic Prophecy: 

Jehovah Himself,^ remove all the hindrances offered 
by the people themselves to the full accomplishment 
of Jehovah's saving purpose. They return to the 
holy land, rebuild the destroyed Jerusalem and the 
desolated cities of the land, and rejoice once more in 
the gracious presence of Jehovah in their midst, and 
His government laden with blessing. The theocracy 
is restored, and, as so restored, it is tlie Theocracy of 
the perfect time. Throughout, Jeremiah brings the 
dawn of the Messianic era into immediate connexion 
with the redemption of Israel from the tyranny of the 
Chaldeans. Throughout, he speaks of the people who 
have returned to the holy land from the exile as of 
the community of the perfect time, with whom 
Jehovah will make the new covenant, on whose hearts 
He will write His law, and all whose members, great 
or small, will stand in a like close relation to Him, 
and be acquainted with Him. Of fresh catastrophes, 
endangering the kingdom of God, and intervening 
between the deliverance from the Babylonian exile and 
the attainment of the final goal, he knows nothing. 
From the moment of this deliverance God's people are 
conducted by a straight course and in a short space of 
time to their glorious destiny. — In the prophecy of 
Jeremiah's contemporary, Ezekiel, who himself lived 
and laboured in the land of captivity, we read, indeed, 
of such an impending danger as threatening in the " end 
of the days," and after the reerection of the theocracy. 
The victory of Jehovah and His kingdom over the 

1 Jer. 24. 7, 29. 12 f., 31. 33, 32. 39 f., 3, 21 ff. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 167 

power of the heathen he divides into two acts, con- 
siderably distant from each other in point of time. 
The judgment of God, bringing redemption to Israel, 
affects immediately only the neighbouring peoples that 
have already come hitherto into conflict with the 
theocracy. After Jehovah has exhibited Himself to 
their eyes as the Holy One, who with a mighty hand 
redeems His people, the theocracy can be again erected, 
and there follows for the people of God a time of sure 
rest and deep peace.^ But the peoples in the farthest 
North and South (South- West) have not yet come to 
know Jehovah's power. They group themselves in 
the last days round the northern king, Gog, in conflict 
against Israel. But Jehovah annihilates their number- 
less troops in the holy land, and casts upon their 
countries a consuming fire of judgment.^ Only after 
even the most distant peoples have thus experienced 
the power of the living God, and been made aware of 
the inviolable holiness of His Kingdom, is the latter 
secured from every further attack.' But if in this 
way the " end of the days '* is postponed still further, 
yet even, according to Ezekiel, the leading back of the 
captive people of God to the holy land indicates the 
beginning of the perfect time. It is, in fact, just this 
great deed of Jehovah's grace, done, not for the worthi- 
ness of Israel, but for His holy name and truth's sake, 
which effects for the hardened and blinded people 
what even their extremity in judgment could not 
effect, a repentant acknowledgment and remorseful 

1 Ezek. 38. 8. 11 ff. ' £zek. 39. 6. > Kzek. chaps. 38, 39. 

1G8 The Ifistorical C/iaracter of Messianic Prophecy : 

sliame of their former disloyalties, and a sincere turn- 
ing to Jehovah.^ And^ because the faithful covenant- 
God ^forgives their sins, purifies them from all their 
uncleannesses, and gives them a heart of flesh in place 
of the stony heart, — ogives them even His own Spirit, — • 
they are made ready for perfect fellowship with Him ; * 
and as, further, all the neighbouring peoples have 
Jearnt to fear His power and holy majesty, nothing 
now forbids the restoration of the theocracy in all its 
final glory. As, with Micah, the Messianic king has 
already mounted the throne, when the last decisive 
conflict will burst forth between the theocracy and the 
heathen world, as, in the Revelation of John» the 
kingdom of Christ has been for a thousand years in 
existence before Satan is again set free to bring against 
it the troops of Gog and Magog ;^ so, with Ezekiel 
also, the people of God have been for long in the 
enjoyment of perfect fellowship with God and the 
glory destined for them, before they require to be 
secured in the blessings of salvation by God's judgment 
upon the hordes of Gog. To him also the deliverance 
from captivity and the return to the holy land 
appear glorified in the dawn -light of the Messianic 
time. — And yet much more is this the case with the 
great prophet who lived towards the end of the Exile, 
and whose prophecies are contained in Isa. chaps. 

He recognises clearly how thorough a sifting and 

> Ezek. 16. 61 ff., 20. 43 f., 36. 81 f. 

» Ezek. 11. 19 f., 16. 63, 36. 25 ff., 87. 23. » Rev. 20. 

lis Adaptation to the Times. 169 

renewal the people of God still require to be able to 
fulfil their great p];ophetic mission to humanity, and 
how, as the servant of Jehovah, Israel must fulfil his 
martyr-vocation with enduring patience and faithful* 
ness unto death before he can attain his destined 
glory. His prophecy contains an exceedingly full 
picture of future historical events, among which are 
many great deeds of Jehovah's grace and judgment, 
and many a labour and suffering of the servant of 
God, lying between the present and the last time, 
when as a royal and priestly people Israel shall stand 
between God and humanity,^ the sworn counsel of 
Jehovah, that every knee should bow to Him and 
every tongue swear to Him,* be fulfilled, and heaven 
and earth be renewed and glorified.^ And yet in the 
thorough revolution of the whole situation, effected 
in his time by Cyrus, the anointed of Jehovah, the man 
chosen by Him to carry out this purpose, Deutero- 
Isaiah recognises the birth-throes quivering through 
the world, which announce the speedy dawn of the 
time of salvation, and after which the perfected 
Kingdom will come into existence. Throughout, the 
quite near event of the deliverance of the people of 
God from the tyranny of Babylon means to him the 
starting - point whence the onward course of God's 
saving purpose to its goal of fulfilment is uninter- 
rupted and rapid. The people whom Jehovah in His 
own Person brings back from the land of captivity 
through the desert to Canaan — a deliverance in which 

» Isa. 61. 6, 66. 21. » Isa. 45. 22 ff, * Isa. 66. 17, 66. 22. 

170 The Historical Character of Messianic Propliecy : 

are repeated the deeds of wonder and grace of the 
Mosaic time — are fitted by the Spirit of God for the 
fulfilment of their high calling;^ they are a com- 
munity of the holy and the righteous ; for no unclean 
person returns to the holy City of Grod,^ all the inhabit- 
ants of the gloriously restored City will be taught of 
Jehovah, even as the prophets now are.* ' By the 
judgment, further, upon the Chaldean empire, and the 
glorious revelation of Jehovah in the deliverance of 
His people, the way is prepared even in the Gentile 
world for the servant of God to fulfil his vocation ; 
the vanity of idols and the sole Godhead of Jehovah 
become thus manifest before all flesh,^ as, indeed, his 
wonderful successes — successes foretold by Jehovah 
— must even now bring Cyrus to the knowledge of 
the true God.* — In short: Henceforth Jehovah will 
not again be wroth with His people;* henceforth 
He will not fail to glorify Himself ever more in 
them in eternal grace, until they shall have come 
to participate fully in the salvation of their God, and 
all peoples have been brought into the Kingdom of 

We might proceed to show how even in the post- 
exilian period, when the promise of Israel's deliverance 
and the reerection of the theocracy had been indeed 
fulfilled, while but little of the promised salvation and 
glory was to be seen as yet, Messianic prophecy 

' Isa. 42. 1, 44. 8. * j^ qq^ 2I. » Isa. 54. 13. 

* Isa. 40. 6, 46. 6, 49. 26, 52. 10, 59. 19, 66. 18. 
A Isa. 45. 3. • Isa. 54. 9. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 171 

announced afresh the message of the shortly comin<T 
glorious completion of the theocracy so barely restored, 
and in so doing, clothed itself in a new times-borrowed 
garment; how Haggai^ announces the performance 
within but a short space of a mighty Divine act, 
shaking heaven and earth, sea and land, and the 
kingdoms of all peoples, by which all the power of 
the world-kingdoms shall be destroyed, and all peoples 
laid under tribute to present to Jehovah the homage 
of their gold and silver for the adornment of the 
temple, still so little magnificent, so that its glory be 
greater than before ; how Zechariah singles out the 
building of the temple into an edifice worthy of the 
entrance and indwelling of Jehovah as the most 
important task of the Messias ; ^ how Malaghi expects 
that the coming of Jehovah will be soon and sudden ; ' 
how even in the time of the hard conflict, in which, 
under the tyrant Antiochus Epiphanes, Israel had 
to engage for his ancestral faith and worship, the 
resurrection of dead Israelites, the judgment of the 
world and the erection of the Kingdom of heaven upon 
the ruins of all earthly kingdoms link themselves, in 
the future-seeing eye of a prophet, to the near impend- 
ing triumph of the people of God over the fall of the 
tyrant.* But we refrain ; for our intention of illus- 
trating by examples how the prophets, in their belief 
in its nearness, place the Messianic salvation in the 

> Hag. 2. 6 ; cp. vv. 21 if. « Zech. 6. 16. » Mai. 3. 1. f. 

« Dan. 2. 44, 7. 8 f. 11 ff. 21 f. 25 ff., 8. 17, 11. 36. 45, 12. 1 tf., 
7. 11 ff. 

172 The Historical Character of Messianic Propliecy : 

most immediate and intimate relation to the historical 
circumstances of their own time and to the events of 
the immediate future, has been sufficiently fulfilled. 

Beyond all question we must recognise a limit to 
the vision of the future granted to the prophets by the 
Spirit of Gcd, in the fact that they always believed 
the day of Jehovah and the salvation of the perfect 
time to be much nearer than they actually were, and 
that the saving thoughts of God, which should at 
some future time attain accomplishment, were always 
present to their consciousness in the veil of features 
borrowed from their own times. For it cannot be 
pretended that God woul(i always have actually brought 
about the accomplishment of His Kingdom in the 
precise time and manner announced by the prophets, 
had Israel only fulfilled the ethico-religious conditions 
attached to the promise. In the counsel of the eternal 
and omniscient God, from Whom not even Israel's 
future attitude was concealed, the day and hour of 
the fulfilment of His saving decree were determined 
before the foundation of the world ; the Saviour could 
appear only when " the time was fulfilled," and the 
light that should arise with Him upon the world was, 
according to the eternal counsel of God, of a much 
higher kind than the atmosphere of their time allowed 
to appear to the prophets. Yet this limitation of the 
prophetic prospect did not imply any lack of Divine 
revelation to the prophets ; it was no Jlaw cleaving to 
Messianic prophecy and disfiguring it. It resulted 
rather from the same Divine educative wisdom, that 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 173 

concealed from the apostles — ^has concealed also from 
us — the day and the hour when the Son of Man will 
come, but yet bids us observe the signs of the times, 
and in stedfast watchfulness and readiness, in firm faith 
and enduring hope, keep our gaze directed to the 
end of the ways of God. If Messianic prophecy had 
shown the goal of the history of the Kingdom of God 
in the long misty distance, wholly separated from the 
conditions and circumstances of the actual present, it 
would hardly have been able to exercise any influence 
upon those to whom yet it was in the first instance 
vouchsafed. Only by means of its times - coloured 
character, as above explained, could it fulfil its 
immediate design of directing the course of the 
prophets' contemporaries in present perplexities, of 
being to them a light enabling them to recognise the 
way, on which God should lead His people in the 
present and the immediate future, as one thai; con- 
ducted to the perfect consummation^ and of giving their 
thoughts and conduct direction towards this goal. 
Of a solution of the problems of the future that went 
further there was no need. If only the next piece of 
the road, reaching to the next turning-point in the 
history of the Theocracy; were illumined by the light 
of the Divine purpose, and if men saw in the judg- 
ment, actually on the way, the " Judge of the world 
ever in the act of coming," and in the dawn of the 
immediately impending time of salvation and grace 
the " Saviour of the world ever in the act of coming," * 

^ Cp. Oebler in /oc. dt, p. 654. 

1 74 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

the firat receivers of the Messianic prophecies were 
fully in a position to pass their life in faith and 
obedience, in patience and hope, and in their own 
place work for the coming of the Kingdom of God, 
without being turned from the right course by the 
prevalence of unrighteousness within the theocracy, or 
by the apparent triumph of the heatlien world-powers. 
The faith, moreover, of a truly pious Israelite was 
not to be shaken by the fact that the dawn of the 
perfect time did not happen so soon as the announce- 
ments of the prophets might lead him to expect, or 
that therefore the fulfilment of all the individual 
details could, in presence of wholly altered circum* 
stances, no longer be expected. And for two reasons : 
Firstly, immediately succeeding events did not leave 
these details altogether unfulfilled. Just as the 
prophecy of the world-judgment in Isa. 2 was in 
some sense fulfilled in the judgment which first the 
allied Syrians and Ephraimites and then the Assyrians 
executed upon Israel, the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 
found at least a relative fulfilment in the deliverance 
of the people of God from the danger threatening 
them from Assyria, as did also that of Jeremiah, 
Ezekiel, and the '' Great Unknown " in the redemption 
and return of the captives and the reerection of the 
theocracy. .And even although this times - adapted 
fulfilment seemed but a comparatively small beginning 
of the great events which prophecy had placed in near 
prospect, it was yet necessarily regarded as a pledge 
that God was but keeping the full carrying out of 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 175 

His saving thoughts concerniDg Israel, announced by 
the prophets, safely in store for the succeeding time. 
Secondly, and this the other reason, the godly Israelites 
always and necessarily recognised in their own guilt 
and in the people's unfaithfulness the hindrance, 
because of which the holy and righteous God still 
kept from them the perfect fulness of the promised 
salvation. And, indeed, the prophets themselves when 
the good times announced by their predecessors have 
actually commenced, and so soon as Israel has incurred 
the guilt of a fresh defection, open up prospects of 
new and severer judgments which are to precede the 
perfect salvation. — Hence also we find that the later 
prophets recognised the utterances of their predecessors 
as genuine Divine messages, while the later Jews 
gave similar recognition to all the prophetic writings 
contained in the Old Testament canon, although they 
must have known that the Messianic salvation did not 
appear so soon as, or in the way in which, it seemed 
justifiable from the actual tenor of the words to 

ir. In what we have advanced hitherto there has been 
nothing like a complete exhibition of the connexion 
between history and Messianic prophecy. The histori- 
cal circumstances of the varying present exercise a 
qualifying and determining influence upon the contents 
of the latter that cuts much deeper still — an influence 
that effects even its innermost kernel, that eternal ideal 

^ Cp. Bertheau in loc. cU, vol. iv. p. 625. 

176 The Historical Character of Messianic Proplucy: 

substance that is enclosed in a times-form. We have 
in this reference to direct special attention to two points. 

1. In the organism of the Old Testament theo- 
cracy there were various factors which exercised a 
determining influence upon the formation of the cir- 
cumstances and conditions that either coincided with 
or contradicted the will of God, and upon the course 
of the theocratic development : the congregation, the 
priesthood, and prophets;^ the common people, the 
princes and judges (or, in general, the nobility), and 
the kingship. The influence of the different oflBces and 
ranks upon the constitution of public life and the 
course of historical development did not remain in the 
course of the centuries always the same. It imparted 
itself in different measures at different times to the 
separate factors. According to the historical situation, 
the hopes for the continuance and prosperity of the 
theocracy necessarily attached themselves, in greater 
degree, now to the one, now to the other. It could 
not but be that in the consciousness and thought-world 
of the prophets also those factors, which, in their time, 
exercised little influence upon the course of affairs, 
receded into the background ; while, on the other hand, 
their regard was chiefly directed to, and their thoughts 
principally occupied with, that factor which exercised 
a preponderating influence upon the life of the nation 
and the concerns of the theocracy as regarded the 
present and the immediate future. 

The different situations occupied by the Israelites at 

* Propketerwkmd, 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 177 

the different stages of their historv, involved further 
that the special attention of the prophets, as well as of 
the people and their princes, was turned now to the 
relation of the theocracy to the heathen world-empires, 
or the relation of Judah to the kingdom of the Ten 
Tribes, now to the internal condition of the kingdom 
as a whole, or to matters of religious ritual or of civil 
law, or to one or other particular national and theo- 
cratic problem. The central points round which the 
genuinely national and theocratic interests and efforts 
revolved, were, of course, always equally the central 
points of prophetic interest. Both these circumstances 
were necessarily of far-reaching importance as regards 
the constitution of Messianic prophecy. A special con- 
sequence was, that now one set of ideas^ now another, 
all containing germs of Messianic apprehensions, 
assumed supreme importance in the prophetic conscious- 
ness, — now the idea of the congregation of Jehovah, 
now that of the kingdom of (Jod, now that of the 
theocratic kingship, now that of the priesthood, now 
that of the enduring presence of God in the temple. 
In virtue, further, of the organic, ie. the psychologi- 
cally - mediated, origin of the Messianic prophecies, 
those germs that were specially prominent in the 
consciousness of particular prophets necessarily came, 
80 far as these prophets were concerned, to be developed 
in preference to others. Hence we see that in the 
course of its historical development Messianic prophecy 
always chooses as the source of its ideas that fountain 
of Old Testament revelations which the special cir- 


178 The IlistoriccU (trader of Messianic Prophecy : 

cumstances of the time cause to gush forth in greatest 
abundance, and that it points to the salvation of the 
perfect time, now from this principal point of departure, 
now from that. Here a germ of Messianic truth 
remains for long, like the seed-corn that slumbers 
hidden in the earth, until at last the historical circum- 
stances emerge in which it can come to light and 
prove its living motive - force. There, on the other 
hand, another comes under favouring circumstances 
rapidly to maturity, and unfolds shortly the richest 
and fairest blossoms ; then, however, comes a stoppage : 
its motive - power seems to abate, and finally to die 
away, until, perchance, when the historical circum- 
stances have again become favourable to its develop- 
ment, fresh aftergrowths of motive-power prove that 
its life is not exhausted yet The law which in this 
relation governs the development of Messianic prophecy, 
we may, however, formulate as follows : The prophets 
make particular factors in the organism of the Old 
Testament theocracy the objects of their Messianic oracles, 
in proportion as they are able, in their time, to exercise. 
a decisive influence upon the realisation of the idea of the 
Kingdom of God, and similarly they concern themselves 
with the differed ncUional and theocratic interests, accord- 
ing to the measure ofimportan/x which they have in the 
circumstances of the acttcal present for the Kingdom of 
God. In different periods consequently, of the history of 
the Old Covenani, now one and nmo anotlier of the ideas 
contained in the Old Testament religion, and embodied 
in the Old Testament theocracy, forms the principal 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 179 

starting-point of Messianic pi'opJiecy, and the principal 
source of its peculiar content. 

We shall endeavour to illustrate and prove this 
position more in detail In doing so we glance first 
of all at the history of the development of Messianic 
prophecy in the narrower sense of the phrase — ^that, 
viz., which has grown from the idea of the theocratic 
kingship. With Joel the Messianic king has found as 
yet no place in the picture of the perfected Kingdom. 
His prophecy is still a product of the common soil of 
the ideas of the people and the kingdom of God ; and 
the end which the community is to attain through the 
perfecting of its fellowship with Jehovah, is represented 
to him in the phenomenon, prophecy. When the gift of 
prophecy has become a common possession of all, the 
goal is reached.^ With the succeeding prophets the 
oracle of the appearance of the Messianic king is in the 
moment of Urth. Amos associates the dawn of the 
perfect time with the restoration of the Davidic king- 
ship in its former power and glory ; but he does not 
speak of the person of the Messias ; in other respects, 
too, his prophecy is very undeveloped, for the perfection 
of the Kingdom consists, according to him, principally 
in the permanent restoration of a state of things that 
has already existed. In the happy times of David and 
Solomon his ideal of the Kingdom of God was already 
all but fulfilled.' The Davidic kingship has the same 
position in the prophecy of Hosea ; apart from it, he 
also is unable to conceive the Kingdom of the perfect 

^ Joel 2. 28 f. Amos 9. 11 f. 

180 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

tima The conversion of Ephraim to Jehovah means 
also his return to allegiance to the Davidic king ; ^ the 
latter is not yet, however, called the Messias. -We 
can hardly be wrong in interpreting this appearance of 
the Davidic kingship within the circle of Messianic 
prospect as the effect of the very promising fresh 
exaltation of the idea which began with the reign of 
Uzziah — a king, adorned with all the virtues of a 
ruler, as pious as he was energetic^ Amos and Hosea 
clearly recognised that, in spite of the passing pro- 
sperity it enjoyed again under Jeroboam II., the king- 
dom of the Ten Tribes was on the sure way to ruin. 
For the evils, however, which inevitably brought about 
this result, the kingship, which, amid all changes in the 
royal line, kept, even in its better times, to the ways 
of Jeroboam I., who " made Israel to sin," was chiefly 
responsible.^ The kingdom of Judah, on the other 
hand, not merely rose again to a position of external 
prestige and power, such as it had not known since the 
disruption from the other tribes, but, in spite of the 
fact that the prophets still found enough to reprove 
and to threaten with punishment, it^ internal condition 

^ Hos. 1. 11, 3. 5. In Hos. 1. 11 the variously interpreted tD^^dlu 
min-Hd'drks (and thej shall come up from the land) is to our think- 
ing to be understood as referring to the festive convoy which all the 
people give to the king of their common choice on his entry into the 
palace (cp. the parallel in 1 Kings 1. 85. 40). Siuson's exegesis 
is therefore substantially correct (cp. on this passage). 

* Cp. on him : Ewald, Oeach, des Volkes lerael, vol. iii. pp. 585 ff. 
(£ng. Trans, vol. iv. pp. 143 ff.) ; and Eisenlohr, Da8 Volh Israel 
unter der Herrschaft der K&nige, vol. ii. pp. 204 if. 

3 Cp. 2 Kings 14. 24, 15. 9. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 181 

also^ so far as the influence and powerful rule of the 
pious king extended, assumed a hopeful aspect. Men 
experienced again what a blessing for the theocracy 
the much more firmly rooted kingship of Jehovah's 
chosen Davidic house was ; to it Judah owed at least 
the greatest proportion of the reasons of its superiority 
over the kingdom of the Ten Tribes. In its full resti- 
tution, consequently, prophecy recognises one of the 
most essential conditions of the perfection of the 
theocracy. The facts, moreover, that both Amos and 
Hosea have principally in view the kingdom of the 
Ten Tribes, and that a Davidic king, such as in 
their time adorned the throne, seemed competent to 
set aside the calf worship of Ephraim, and to restore 
the unity and greatness of the theocracy, made it all 
the easier for these prophets to content themselves 
with the merely general conception of the Davidic 

The Messianic king himself we meet with first of 
all in the prophecy of a younger contemporary of 
Hosea, the author of ZecL 9-11. He tells ^ of the 
Messias making his peaceful entry into Jerusalem 
amid the plaudits of the people, and depicts the 
character of his person and rule. As God Himself 
is tsaddik umOsMa (a just one and a Saviour),' so is 
this king as His representative upon earth tsaddik 
ufnoshd* (just and saved, RV. margin); his kingly 
action is in entire harmony with the standard of the 
Divine will, and therefore Jehovah grants him at all 

1 Zech. 9. 9 f. ^ Isa. 45. 21. 

182 TIu Historical Cliarader of Messianic Proplucy : 

times — and through him the people — salvation.^ He 
is, further, humble and meek ('am'), tax from all 
self-exaltation and violence in his bearing to others. 
Exaltation and humility, the fulness of Grod - granted 
power, and the meekest, most peaceful disposition are 
united in him. Without any of the martial imple- 
ments of power in use in the kingdoms of the world, 
— implements previously removed by God's judgment 
from His Kingdom, — he effects peace among the 
nations by his mere word. And the blessed rule of 
this highly-honoured. Divinely-powerful king of peace 
extends from sea to sea, and from the river to the 
ends of the earth. Not long after the delineation of 
this picture ' we see the prophecy of the Messianic 
king reaching, in the main, the ctUminating point of its 
development in Isaiah and his contemporary Micah. 
Both prophets associate with his appearance the dawn 
of the Messianic time, and point to him as the 
perfecter of the theocracy. Both speak of him as of 
a human king, whose person, however, is wonderful, 
who in virtue of his unique relation to God stands high 
above all other men, as the organ through whom God 
Himself accomplishes His saving purpose as the 
mediator of the Messianic salvation for the people of 
God and for humanity. In the time of Ahaz, Isaiah ' 

1 Cp. Jer. 23. 6, Deut 33. 29. 

^ We assume that Zech. chaps. 10 and 11 belong to the time of 
Pekah, Zech. 9 to a somewhat earlier date. On the discussion lately 
raised afresh by Stade (Ztitach, /iir dit aUUst. Wiseeruchaft, 1881, pp. 
1 tf. ; 1882, pp. 151 ff. and 275 ff.) as to the date of these prophecies, 
we cannot here enter. 

3 Isa. 9. 6 f. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 183 

depicts him as a king, who, in a degree extraordinaiy 
and surpassing human insight, knows to devise always 
and for everything the best counsel ; there is some- 
thing Divinely wonderful in his counsel - creating 
energy.^ Because, further, God Himself makes him, 
like the angel of Jehovah, the organ of His self- 
revelation, accomplishes through him His mighty 
deeds of power, and is, in and through him, vrith His 
people, he is called "mighty God" — a designation 
applied elsewhere' to Jehovah Himself. We must 
bear in mind the strictness with which Old Testament 
faith maintains the transcendence of the holy God 
above every creature, to estimate aright the unique 
and intimate relation to God ascribed to the Messianic 
king by this transference to him of a Divine name. 
He is further characterised as the everlasting fatherly 
provider for the people of God,' and — ^as in Zech. 9 
— the prince of peace. His Messianic work of salva- 
tion, however, consists in delivering the people of Gk)d 
from the yoke of the Assyrians, in destroying all the 
implements of war * and establishing eternal peace, in 
confirming and enlarging the dominion of the Davidic 
kingship, and causing perfect equity and righteousness 
to prevail in the kingdom of God.^ Still more minute 

1 P^ ydiU ; cp. Isa. 28. 29, where it is said of G(xl hiphU* *eUah. 

« Cp. Isa. 10. 21, Deut. 10. 17, Jer. S2. 18. 

' C^. Isa. 22. 21 ff. together with Hab. 8. 8 ff. 

4 That both these functions belong to the Messias we infer from 
the ki (for) of Isa. 9. 6, and from the reference to the **day of 
Midian " in ver. 4. 

^"Righteousness and judgment" are the foundation of God's 
throne, therefore also the foundation of Messias' throne (cp. Ps. 89. 14). 

184 The Historical Char(uteT of Messianic Prophecy: 

is Isaiah's characterisation of the person and govern- 
ment of the Messias in a prophecy belonging to the 
time of Hezekiah.^ On him, as on no other, rests the 
Spirit of the Jehovah, supplying him with those gifts 
and qualifications' that fit him to be the organ by 
whom Jehovah Himself conducts the government of 
His kingdom — with the knowledge and fear of God, 
with wisdom for government, with Divinely - effective 
energy. His main endeavour is that his people 
should fear Jehovah; his delight is in the fear of 
Grod. In his judicial decisions he does not judge 
according to the outward appearance nor according to 
human testimony ; his sure insight penetrates rather 
always the thing itself and the human heart; he 
judges according to the real state of the case, and 
according to men's moral and religious worth. His 
exercise of justice is not impaired by human weakness ; 
it is exercised by God's Spirit through him in such a 
way that in judging men he applies the very standard 
according to which Jehovah Himself judges. He 
secures their lawful rights, in particular, to the poor 
and needy ; but his mere word is sufficient to strike 
down the violent and to slay the wicked. Thus he 
reigns as a king, whose fairest adornment is righteous- 
ness and faithfulness towards God and man. Thus, 
further, by his rule the theocracy becomes, what it 
is intended to be, a kingdom in which evil no longer 
happens, and none does hurt to another, — a kingdom 
filled with the living knowledge of Jehovah, and 

1 Isa. 11. 1 ff. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 185 

therefore with righteousness and peace. In relation 
also to its extent, the theocracy becomes through him 
what it 'is intended to ba His place of abode becomes 
the metropolis of all kingdoms, all nations pay him 
homage, and obtain from him the decision of all 
controversies — advice, direction. He is therefore the 
mediator of the Messianic saving work of Jehovah 
depicted in Isa. 2. 1 if., by which the nations learn 
the law of God, and the earth becomes a kingdom of 
peace. — A precisely similar picture of the Messianic 
king is drawn by MiCAH.^ After God's judgment has 
gone forth against both Jerusalem and the royal house 
of David, the latter will once again be lifted up out 
of . the deepest humiliation and obscurity to the 
highest power and honour. The Messianic branch 
will spring, like David, from its ancient stem^ — 
from the small, unpretentious Bethlehem. In the 
restitution of the Davidic kingship ancient history 
repeats itself, just as in the restitution of the people, 
by their being led out of the land of captivity. This 
Messianic king, moreover, will, as the organ and 
viceroy of Jehovah, the shepherd of Israel, fulfil the 
part of a shepherd of the people of God, clothed with 
the almighty power of Jehovah ; and his rule will 
be such, that in and through it God's great name — i.e. 

1 Mioah 5. 2 ff. 

* In thia senaa, in contrast partly with the unpretentious pkce of 
birth, partly with the suecession of upstarts in the kingdom of the 
Ten Tribes, the words umoUiVotMv mikktdhem mlmS 'Mm (<' whose 
goings forth," etc.) are to be understood. Cp. Ewald and Hitzio on 
Micah 5. 2. The objection, that all Israelites were of like ancient 
origin, is ill-considered. Do not we also speak of an '* old family " t 

186 The Historical Character of Messianic Proplucy : 

the glory of that which Grod Himself is to His people 
— becomes manifest. Passing by other features in 
Micah's description^ let us now ask : How did it come 
about that just these prophets should have been 
forward to develop, almost as perfectly as they have 
been developed anywhere in Old Testament times, 
the truths regarding the saving purpose and sovereign 
plan of God that are involved in the idea of the 
theocratic kingship ? — It might be answered : Once 
this idea had come within the circle of the Messianic 
hopes, the prophets must soon have become conscious 
of the contradiction between it and the historical 
kingship, and thus the more general prophecy of the 
Davidic kingship of the perfect time would necessarily 
transform itself into the more definite prophecy of a 
Davidic Messias. This explanation, however, cannot 
suffice of itself. If this were peculiarly the cause of 
the development of Messianic prophecy in the nar- 
rower sense, why does the latter not come then 
specially to the forefront, when the contradiction is at 
its height ? Why not in the time of an Ahaz much 
rather than in the time of a Hezekiah ? ^ And why 
is it that, as we shall see, the image of the Messianic 
king fades away just during the reigns of the last 
kings of Judah ? 

^ Delitzsch, indeed, asserts that this was actually the case — but 
in contradiction with the facts. Cp. Oehler, art. ''Messias," in 
Herzoq's RealencyldopMUy 1st ed. p. 414. In the 2nd ed. von 
O&ELLi has removed the remarks relative to this point, doubtless 
because he agrees with Delitzsch in assigning Isa. 11 to the time of 
Ahaz (cp. his work, Die aUteat. Wtisaagung) — an hypothesis which 
I consider quite unreliable. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 187 

We can find the reason of this rapid and rich 
development of the prophecy of the Messianic king 
only in the greater importance which, in consequence 
of the complications of the theocracy with the Assyrian 
world-power, the Davidic kingship won for the former. 
These complications were, for the whole course of the 
history of the theocracy, much more fatal than the 
earlier conflicts with neighbouring peoples. During 
them, however, the burden of decision lay principally 
with the kingship. The fate and position of the 
kingdom depended mainly upon the character of the 
king's rule, upon his policy and attitude (of depend- 
ence or independence) towards the Assyrians. We 
see, indeed, how, according to Isa. 7, the fatal choice 
made by Ahaz at the decisive moment rendered the 
threatening judgment inevitable; how, according to 
Isa. 32, Hezekiah's inclination to defer rather to the 
advice of his magnates, who urged an alliance with 
Egypt, than to the will of Jehovah, threatens to bring 
about yet greater disaster ; and how, on the contrary, 
his imreserved decision for Jehovah is the salvation 
of the kingdom. No wonder that at such a time the 
eyes of the prophets were directed chiefly to the 
kingship. The theocracy meets the Assyrian world- 
power principally in the person of its king, in whom 
its power is concentrated, and who is its representative 
abroad. Hence Messianic prophecy begins from this 
point to make the accomplishment of the Kingdom, in 
spite of the obstacles thrown in its way by the 
Assyrian world-power, depend mainly upon the coming 

188 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy: 

of the son of David, in whom the theocratic kingship 
should a^cttudly become what it ideally is. — It would 
be easy to show in detail, particularly from Isa. 9 
and Micah 5, how the Messianic kingship is expressly 
represented by the prophets as the institution by 
means of which the theocracy of the perfect time is 
able to exalt itself in victorious defiance of the Assyrian 

That, moreover, the prophets, once they had set 
themselves to depict the Messianic king, should give 
prominence to the point that under his rule righteous- 
ness and judgment should have full sway in the 
internal affairs of the theocracy, and that the universal 
acknowledgment and worship of Jehovah should be 
powerfully promoted, resulted almost unavoidably from 
their perception of the scanty result attending the 
well-meant efforts of Hezekiah in this direction. 

Let us mark now the further development of the 
prophecy concerning the Messianic king. The later 
prophets testify unmistakably to an arrest lasting up 
to the time of the Exile. The Messias indeed meets 
us in Jeremiah at the end of an oracle (belonging to 
the time of Jehoiachin) on the wicked and hapless 
kings Jehoahaz, Jehoiachim, and Jehoiachin,^ and in 
the promises of salvation issued shortly before the 
destruction of Jerusalem,^ as also in Ezekiel.^ But he 
is no longer, as with Isaiah and Micah, in the centre 
of the picture which these prophets draw of the 
perfected Kingdom ; and there is hardly a new idea, 

1 Jer. 23. 6 f. « Jer. 80. 9. 21, 83. 16. »-21. 27, 84. 28 f., 87. 24. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 189 

except perhaps one, new at least as to form, — that/ viz., 
implied in the characterisation of the intimate relation 
of the Messianic king to Jehovah as a priestly one.^ 
On the other hand, there are in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, 
besides these passages, other Messianic prophecies, in 
which again, as with Amos, mention is no longer made 
of the person of the Messias, but only of the successive 
kings of the Davidic line.* Messianic prophecy in 
the narrower sense relapses in these passages to its 
initial stage of development. Indeed, other prophets 
of the Chaldean period, as Zephakiah, the author of 
Zech. 12-14, Obadiah, and the author of IsA. 24-27, 
do not mention the kingship of the Messianic theocracy 
at all, — a distinct proof that the idea of the theocratic 
kingship had, in the consciousness of the godly of that 
time, lost much of its significance for the theocracy. 
As opposed to it, the idea of the people of Grod again 
constitutes the principal starting-point and source of 
the Messianic prophecy of this time. Does not this 
arrest or even retrogression in the development of the 
prophecy, that grew from the idea of the theocratic 
kingship, hang together with the fact that the power 
and influence of the kingship continued visibly to 
decline? The fortune and position of the theocracy 
were no longer dependent to the same extent as in 
the Assyrian period upon the king. Even a godly 
king like Josiah could at most postpone only for a 

1 Jer. 80. 21. 

2 Cp. Jer. 17. 25, 22. 4, 33. 17. 21 f. 26, Ezek. 17, 22 tf., 46. 8, 46. 

190 The HistoiHcal Character of Messianic Prophecy: 

while — he could not avert — ^the ruin that threatened 
the state.^ The last kings did, indeed, their best to 
destroy the theocracy, and to hasten the ruin of the 
state. But the kingdom was already practically at the 
disposal of the powers that were contending for the 
world^supremacy. Even the kings themselves were, in 
part, raised to the throne by these powers, Jehoiachim 
by Pharaoh Necho, Zedekiah by Nebuchadnezzar, of 
whom the former brought to a rapid close the reign of 
Jehoahaz, the latter that of Jehoiachin. Those who 
had the interests of the theooracy at heart could no 
longer regard a kingship that lay at the disposal of 
the governors of heathen empires as the main pillar 
of support for the building of the theocracy. Least of 
all, when the king showed himself, like Zedekiah, 
powerless and irresolute in presence even of his own 
magnates. The Book of Jeremiah reveals distinctly 
how greatly this king feared to rouse the great men of 
the kingdom against himself by following his better 
impulses.^ The circumstance that, owing to the 
historical situation, the kingship was no longer the 
factor that determined the course of the history, is the 
reason why the Messianic prophecy of this period no 
longer places in the forefront the perfecting of the 
kingship in the person of the Messias as the principal 
condition of the perfected theocracy, but represents 
rather — in so far as the Messias is mentioned at all — 
" the kingship of the Davidic house, glorified by Divine 

1 Cp. 2 Kings 22. 15 ff. 28. 26 f., Jer. 15. 4. 
^ Cp. t,g. Jer. 37. 17, 38. 14 ff. 

lis Adaptation to the Times. 191 

graces and gifts, only as an appendix to the other 
blessings \\^hich fall to the lot of the favoured 
people." ^ 

In the time of the Exile the hopes and prospects of 
salvation free themselves entirely from connexion with 
the Davidic kingship. In Isa. 40-66, — that "gospel 
before the gospel," — in which the Messianic prophecy 
of the Old Testament reaches what is, in many respects, 
the height of its development, there is no mention 
anywhere of. the future Messianic king. Not even in 
Isa. 55. 3-5, where, on the contrary, the *' sure mercies 
of David " are rather expressly assigned to the people.^ 
— ^At this time, when the theocratic state had collapsed 
and the ritual of sacrifice had ceased, neither the 
kingship nor the priesthood, but only genuine prophecy, 
could be the centre of Israel's national and religious 
life, or be regarded as the vital factor insuring the 
continuance and regeneration of the Kingdom of God. 
To it the eyes of all who waited for the promised 
salvation necessarily turned, when they sought a God- 
given pledge of their hope. Prophecy was not, 
however, a secure and stable institution. The gift 
and office of prophecy were attached only to the 
persons of those whom Jehovah had called, and not 
even several isolated historical personages — much less 
one — could be regarded as the bearers of the Messianic 
salvation. Their position in the theocracy rested, 

^ Cp. Bertheau in loc. eU. vol. iv. p. 684. 
^ 9 Cp. in loco, on the one hand, 2 Sam. 7. 8 AT., Ps. 18. 48 ff. 50 ; 
and, on the other, Isa. 43. 10, 44. 8. 

192 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy: 

however, on the fact, that as the chief representatives 
of the idea of the people of God they were before 
others possessed and illumined by the Spirit of God : 
and the gift of the Spirit was promised to the whole 
community. Hence all the Messianic prospects begin 
now to connect themselves with the idea of the people 
of God, in such a way, however, that the latter come 
to be regarded as an organ of Jehovah, entrusted with 
a prophetic calling to humanity. The part of the 
Messianic king, endowed with the fulness of God-given 
might and sovereign power, and triumphing victoriously 
over all enemies, is assumed by the people, the 
servant of Jehovah, who fulfils amid shame and 
persecution his prophetic witness-vocation with im- 
movable faithfulness, with enduring patience, and with 
strong faith and hope, and goes through suffering to 
glory. He it is who is now the central figure of the 
picture of the perfect time. He is the organ through 
whom God reerects in glorified form His Kingdom 
upon earth, and brings to pass His saving purpose 
concerning entire humanity.^ 

So soon^ on the other hand, as the theocratic state 
is externally restored, and, in the person of Zerubbabel, 
a prince of the house of David stands at its head 
as one of its principal supports, we find that with 

^ It will not appear snrprising that the Messianic king finds no place 
in the picture of the perfect time sketched hy Deutero-Isaiah, if it is 
rememhered that the omission implies only a reassnmption on the 
part of prophecy, in more complicated form, of the ancient Mosaic and 
more ideal conception, which represents Jehovah's rule oyer the entire 
people as immediate (cp. pp. 103 f.). 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 193 

Haggai^ and Zechariah^ the prophecy of the Messianic 
king immediately revives, and receives, in fact, a new 
shape from the hand of the latter prophet after a manner 
peculiarly his own, to which we shall recur further on. 
With Malachi, on the contrary, in whose time there 
was no longer a Davidic prince, it again disappears, 
in order finally-^not as a natural product of the times, 
but only as the result of an acquaintance with prophdic 
writings that have coine to he regarded as Holy Scriptures 
— to flash forth once again in the Book of Daniel, 
and shed yet another clear light upon the superhuman 
character of the person of the Messias. For, when 
there had been for long no native kingship, and the 
house of David was sunk in obscurity, when, never- 
theless, ancient prophecy had left the expectation 
of a Messianic king indelibly rooted in the hearts of 
the people, this book announces the Messias no longer 
definitely as an offspring of the family of David, but 
characterises him as a person in human form, who indeed 
belongs as their royal head to the saints of the Most 
High, but whose descent remains concealed in the dark- 
ness of mystery, while his superhuman character mani- 
fests itself in the fact that, like Jehovah Himself, the 
Son of man comes on the clouds of heaven, to be invested 
by God with the eternal Kingship over a Theocracy 
reared upon the ruins of all the kingdoms of the world.^ 

^ Hag. 2. 21 if., — a passage which, according to the analogy of Gen. 
12. 8, cp. with Gen. 18. 18, 22. 18, is to be anderstood, not merely of 
the person of Zerabbabel, but of him and his family. 

3 Zech. 8. 8 ff., 6. 9 if. 

' Dan. 7. 13 f. It is notoriously a matter of dispute whether the 


194 The Historical Character of Messiafiic Prophecy : 

Thus far our glance at the course of the develop- 
ment of the prophecy of the Messianic king has 
confirmed the propositions we laid down. They 

figure reaembliiig a wh qf tnan is, in tlie prophet's intention, the 
Messias, or whether — as particularly Hitzig tii loco, and Hofmann, 
Weiasagung und Er/uUung, i. pp. 209 f. ; Schryftbtwtvt (1st ed.) ii. 
2, pp. 541 f.| assume — the prophet means merely to give a symbolical 
representation of "the people of the saints of the Most High." The 
latter view seems able to support itself upon the author's own testimony 
in yv. 18, 22, and 27 ; and it must be allowed that the kfibhar 'huUtfi 
(like a son of man) corresponds with the k^'aryih (like a lion), ver. 4, and 
the hinfimar (like a leopard), yer. 6, in such a way as to oppose the 
fitan-forms to the frrute-forms, representing the world-monarchies, 
— a circumstance which makes it natural to regard the former, not 
as a personal individual, but as a typico- visionary representation 
of another kind of dominion. If this view were correct, we should 
have to concede that with Daniel also, as with Malachi, the form of 
the Messianic king recedes into dimness, and hence that a character 
entirely in keeping with the circumstances of the times lielongs to his 
prophecy. — ^We consider, however, the old and prevalent interpretation 
of the passage to be the right one — that, viz., which is presupposed in 
the Book of Enoch (46. 1, 48. 2 if., 62. 5. 7, 69. 27. 29) and in the 
Fourth Book of £zra (18. 1 ff. 12. 32 if.), and which refers the passage 
to the Messias. Besides the merely typical figures, the vision represents 
also persons, who appear without figurative veil ; this is tnie speciall}' 
of the heavenly judgment-scene, in which the description — apart from 
the reference to the beasts in w. 11 and 12 — loses its figurative- 
allegorical character. This of itself makes it probable that he who 
appears in human form before God is no mere typical figure, but a real 
personality. And it is confirmed by the fact — to which Auberlsn 
has already directed attention {Der PropJiet Daniel iind die OJenbtinimj 
Johannia, 2nd ed. pp. 51 f .) — that ver. 21 makes it necessary to dis- 
tinguish the saints of the Most High from the Son of man. It would 
be, to say the least, a striking incongruity if it were there (in ver. 21 ) 
presupposed that the saints were to be seen in the vision btfore the 
judgment-scene as the object of persecution from the little horn, and 
yet were to be regarded also as represented in the typical figure of the 
Son of man, whose appearance has already been represented with the 
greatest emphasis in ver. 13 as oMounditigly new, and as taking place in 
the course of the judgment-scene and after the accx>mplishment of the 
judgment upon the beasts. Add to this, that it could hardly be said 
of the holy people that they came **with (i.f. upon) the clouds of 

lis Adaptation to the Times, 195 

receive, however, a much more obvious confirmation, 
if we remark the time and historical circumstances in 
which the idea of the priesthood comes to have a 

heaven." The circamstance that God's judgment-seat is in heaven 
cannot justify this expression (contra Kamphausen in Bunsen's 
Bibelwerk) ; it would supply at best only a reason for representing the 
Son of man as elevated to heaven ; moreover, the scene of the judgment 
is, to all appearance, not heaven bat earth, to which the Ancient of 
days (ver. 22) and the Son of man descend. A more feasible argument 
would be that implied in Hitzio's reference tp Dan. 8. 10, acconling to 
which the nation of saints (ver. 24) are to the seer of the vision the host 
of the stars in the heavens. But even thus the peculiar loftiness of 
the expression, which is used elsewhere only of God (Isa. 19. 1, Ps. 104. 
3), does not seem sufficiently justified. It must be allowed to be 
designed to express that superhuman. Divine character of the appear- 
ing one, which would not certainly be inferred from the k^ in Mhfir 
*ind8h (vid. 8upra). But this can be only the Messianic king, who 
stands at the head of the saints of the Most High, the representative 
and organ beside and under the Prince of the host of heaven (8. 11), 
and who, according to the but slightly younger Third Book of the 
Sibyllines, vv. 286 f. (where the reference, as Hilosnfeld, Jiid. 
Apokalyptik, pp. 81 ff., has rightly contended, is not to Cyrus), is sent 
by God aurandthen (from heaven), and according to vv. 286 ff. 
op' ielioio (from the sun) — quite improperly rendered by some ''from 
the East." In him the Messianic kingdom comes from above, from 
the God of heaven, and is destined to embrace the whole earth (Dan. 
2. 34 ff. 44 f.), and through him as their head the saints of the 
Most High also receive kingdom and dominion (7. 18. 22. 27). That 
the Messias should be conceived as in heaven and coming thence, 
would be most easily explained if, as Oehler (art. "Messias" in 
Herzog*s Reahncyd. p. 417 ; Theol, des Alt. Test. ii. pp. 144 and 265) 
and HiLOEirrELD (in he, cit, pp. 47 ff.) think, it could be proved 
that in the Book of Daniel — esp. 10. 5 ff. — the conceptions of thi* 
angel of Jehovah and of the Messias are combined. Proof, however, 
fails ; even the kidhfimuth b^nf *ddhdm (like the image of the sons of 
men) and hmar*eh 'dd?idm (like the appearance of a man) in the 
description of the angel is no proper parallel to the hbhar 'indsh of 7. 
13. Its true parallel is the expression dhnuth hmat^ih \idhdm used 
by Ezekiel (1. 26) in the description of the theophany. There is 
nothing in the former of the two supposed parallels to remind us of 
the Son of man. Besides, if he were conceived as an angelic personality, 
vv. 18, 22, and 27 of chap. 7 could hardly take his fellowship 

196 The Historical C?uiracter of Messianic Prophecy: 

greater importance for Messianic prophecy. Through- 
out the entire pre-Exilian period the priest, it is true, 
receives mention now and then in the delineation of 
the theocracy of the perfect time/ but never, not even 
in EzKKiEL, is any cooperation in the accomplishment 

{ZugeJUhigkeit) with the saints of the Most High so completely for 
grauted. As little feasible is the suggestion of Hitzig, that the basis 
of this conception of the Son of man lies in the more developed belief 
in immortality, and that he is to be identified with David, leading a 
heavenly life after death. Without unjustifiable dogmatising, however, 
neither the Divinity of the Messias nor yet the conception of an 
dnthropos epourdnioa (heavenly man) (Bsyschlao, Die OhrUtologie 
des Neuen Teatamentes, p. 18), who has preexisted as a supra- 
ten*estrial being, can be extracted from the passage. The prophet 
^ves no indication as to the origin of the Son of man ; he presupposes 
only his fellowship (Zugehdrigkeit) with the saints of the Most High. 
The basis of the conception that he is in heaven and comes thence is 
no relation to God or men founded upon his origin or nature — in 
Hhort, no metaphysical Theologoumenon whatsoever. It is simply the 
appropriateness of tlie description itself, in view of the position in the 
theocracy assigned to the Messias in the eternal counsel of Gk)d ; in other 
words, it is the idea of the theocratic or (as in some cases) Messianic king- 
ship handed down from the elder praphecy ; he is conceived as being in 
heaven and coming thence only because he is the representative and 
organ of the God of heaven, and to him, as such, the superhuman 
character and the Divine position and dignity — lent, as it were, by 
God — are really appropriate, which according to Isa. 14. 14 the insolent 
king of Babylon would fain claim for himself. Be it finally remarked 
that we do not consider the main argument for the view we have 
rejected — extracted as it is from 7. 18. 22. 27 — as decisive, for this 
among other reasons, because vv. 13 f. — in so far as here the text loses 
its figurative-allegorical character — did not, like the pictures of the 
beasts, the ten horns, and the little horn, require special explanation 
(at least in the same way), whereas prominence had necessarily to be 
given to the fact that the saints of God, who had been for a time in 
the power of the tyrant Antiochus, would finally reign over all the 
kingdoms of the world. How a view which requires us to suppose the 
reappearance of the picture of the Messias in a kingless time can be 
reconciled with the nature of prophecy, is shown above. 
' E.g. Jer. 81. 14*, 33. 18 ff. 

Its Adaptation to the Tinus. 197 

of the Divine purpose of salvation assigned to the 
priesthood. The reason of this lies in the fact that 
the priesthood — assigned from the first the duty of 
conserving religious custolu, and tlie legally ordained 
constitution of the national worship — did not during 
the time of the kings exercise any very marked 
influence upon the historical course of the theocracy. 
Even the exception we may make in favour of the 
influence for a short time exercised by the high 
priests Jehoiada ^ and Hilkiah ^ must be qualified by 
the remembrance that the interference of these men 
in the fortunes of the kingdom was due, not so much 
to their official dignity, as to their personal energy, — 
albeit the latter was seconded by the former. — When, 
further, the Messianic prophecy of the time of the 
Exile represents the people of God, on the attainment 
of their destined goal, as a priestly people mediating 
between God and the rest of humanity,^ the starting- 
point of this announcement is, without doubt, sub- 
stantially the idea of Jehovah's peculiar people, as in 
Ex. 19. 6, and not the idea of the special Levitical 
priesthood. Still, the priests (specially the high priest), 
as the pure sanctified mediatorial representatives before 
Jehovah of the congregation entrusted with the office 
of expiation, were iilpoi tdn melldnton (types of things 
to come). In the priesthood also there lay a germ of 
Messianic truth, capable of being developed. This 
*germ actually was developed in the time imviediately 
succeeding the return from the Exile. The rebuilding of 

1 2 Kings, chaps. 11 and 12. > 2 Kings 22. > Isa. 61. 6, Qe. 21. 

198 The Historical Cliaraeter of Messianic PropTucyT' 

the temple and the restoration of the temple worship 
formed at this time the centre of all national and 
theocratic interests and efforts. On these objects, 
according to prophecy, the concern of God Himself for 
His people was now concentrated. By guaranteeing 
the completion of the building of the temple, Jehovah 
guaranteed also the continuance and the future per- 
fection of the theocracy. At such a time the priest- 
hood had a much greater importance than formerly 
for the future of the theocracy. But, in particular, 
the high priest Joshua occupies a position of in- 
dependent importance side by side with the Davidic 
Zerubbabel, such as high priest never before enjoyed 
in relation to the king; and both work in harmonious 
zeal, encouraged by prophetic promises, at the building 
of the dwelling-place of God and the restitution of the 
theocracy. These historical circumstances are reflected 
in Messianic prophecy. The priests, whose official 
character is purity and holiness, and who, in virtue of 
their office, may draw near to Jehovah, now become 
the pretypes of the congregation of the perfect time, 
who are purified from their sins, are holy, and have 
priestly access to Jehovah ; and, in particular, the high 
priest becomes a type of the Messias who stands at 
the head of this community.^ The Messias is thus 
definitely conceived as a priest-king, not, of course, 
because he is to offer sacrifices and expiate the people's 
guilt, but only because he is, in a special degree, a 
sanctified person, and, as belonging to God, is entitled 

» Zech. 3. 8ff., 6. 11 ff. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 199 

to immediate priestly access to Him, and because he 
is the head and representative of a holy, priestly 
people, purified from sin and guilt It is with refer- 
ence to precisely this function that the high priest 
Joshua, and not the Davidic Zerubbabel, is made the 
type of the Messias. But there is yet another reason 
for the preference. — The prophet Zechariah does not, 
as is usually supposed, mean to announce that the 
Messias will unite in his person the kingly and the 
high priestly office. Rather he shows us the Messianic 
high priest alongside of the Messianic king in the 
perfected Kingdom, the former sitting beside the 
latter on the royal throne, and both working together — 
as at that time Zerubbabel and Joshua actually did — 
in harmonious cooperation for the weal of the people 
of God and in the interest of the theocracy. The 
prophet, indeed, represents the rule of the Messianic 
kingdom as emphatically a unity, and as a government 
by king and high priest ; but this unity is not effected 
by the union of both offices in one person, but by the 
elevation of the high priest to the throne of the Messias, 
and by the perfect oneness of mind and spirit, in which 
the Messianic king and the Messianic high priest con- 
duct their common government.^ And it is precisely 
this relationship of close alliance and community in rule, 

^ Zech. 6. 18. Against the prevalent interpretation — ^again defended 
even by K5hler {DienachexUtKhen Prophelen), Keil, Pressel, EVpbr 
(in he, cit, pp. 414 f.) von Orslli (in /oc. cit, pp. 499 tf.),--of the words 
ic^hdydh khohSn 'cU-kU'd: "and he (the Messias) shaU be a priest on 
his throne," the concluding words, "and the counsel of peace (».e. 
harmonious cooperation) shall be between them both," are decisive. 
For the sense of this clause cannot be : " The Messias, in whom king 

200 The Historical Cluiracter of Messianic Prophecy: 

in which the high priesthood will stand to the king- 
ship, that is meant to be indicated in the fact that 
Joshua, and not Zerubbabel, is made the type of the 
Messias. — Even in the prophecy of Malachi it is 
clear that the priesthood still occupies a comparatively 
important position in the circle of Messianic expecta- 
tions. In the censures of this prophet special atten- 

and priest have become one, shall conceive and accomplish a scheme 
of helping the people of-Ood to peace," which is contrary to the plain 
sense of bfn-sh^nihhn (between them itoo). The concluding sentence 
speaks distinctly of two pereons, and therefore the disputed words — ^in 
spite of the surprising to^Iidydh, instead of the more-to-be-ezpected 
lo^dskabhf which, however, had preceded, and therefore was hardly 
available— can only, with Ewald, Hitzio, Bertheav, and Stahelin, 
be translated: "And a priest shall be on his throne." But the 
suffix in kU'6 is usually referred to kohen. In tlfat case the objections 
against this translation are fully justified. It is not cJuiracUristic of 
the priest that he should sit upon a throne, rather that he should 
stand before Jehovah (Deut. 17. 12, Judg. 20. 28), — an argument that 
is, of course, not weakened by a reference to 1 Sam. 4. IS. 18. And 
the announcement that in the Messianic time there should also be a 
priest, would be almost inept. Precisely as in the preceding *al-k^fo 
the suffix is to be referred to the Messias (cp. Ex. 11. 5, 12. 29, where 
the suffix is probably best refeiTed to Par'oh, and the at least analogous 
cases Jer. 13. 13, 22. 4), and the sense is : A priest shall sit beside the 
Messias on his (the Messias*) throne (cp. on the implied situation, Ps. 
110. 1, Bev. 3. 21, and the art. *'Thron" in my Bibdto&rterbuch, p. 
1660&). The sense is rightly given in the LXX. : hai ^stai hiereiu ek 
dexUm auUyd (and a priest shall be on his right hand) (in accordance 
with which Stade, Zeitsch./ur die alUeJU, Wissensch, 1881, p. 10, note, 
too hastily wishes to substitute on hia right hand for on hia throne, in 
the Hebrew text). — We may refer, further, to the fact that the juxta- 
position of a Messianic king and a Messianic priest agrees with the 
vision of Zech. 4, where the kingship and the high priesthood (the 
two olive trees), or, otherwise, their bearers (the two branches of the 
olive, cp. ver. 14), are the organs which conduct to the organism of the 
theocracy the Spirit of Jehovah (the oil) by which it is nourished and 
preserved. The violent emendations of Ewald, Hitzio, and others in 
vv. 11 and 12 we consider superfluous. My conception of the passage 
is supported by H. Scuultz in loc, cU, p. 257 (2nd ed. pp. 744 f.). 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 201 

tion is paid to the priesthood, sacrifice, the tithes, 
etc.; and the main purpose alleged for the judicial 
coming of Jehovah is the purifying and renewal of 
the Levites, in consequence of which the offerings of 
the purged community, offered through a purged priest- 
hood, will be acceptable to Jehovah.^ 

There is yet another Messianic expectation, appear- 
ing first in the time of the Exile, and taking shape 
only after the Exile — the expectation, viz., that the 
Theocracy of the perfect time would be erected by 
Jehovdk*s personal advent, and His celebration in the 
temple, constitiUed now Sis eternal dwelling-place, of His 
entrance into His own} That such a prophecy was 
developed at the date indicated has its reason in the 
fact that at that time the national and theocratic 
interest was mainly directed to the scheme of rebuild- 
ing the temple, and making it what it had been in 
former times. Even Ezekiel had prophesied of the 
coming again of the glory of Jehovah into the new 
temple.^ The " Great Unknown " had announced the 
near advent of the God of Israel.^ But Haggai and 
Zechaeiah were the first to give the building and 
glorifying of the temple such a central position among 
the prospects of salvation as to set even the conversion 
of the heathen in teleological relation to that event,^ 
and to make the building of the temple the principal 
business of the Messias,® seeing that, with the dawn 

1 Mai. 8. 8 f. ' See Appendix A, Note VII. 

> Ezek. 48. 2 ff. « Isa. 40. 9 f., 52. 8, 60. 1 f. 19 f. 

8 Hflg. 2. 7 ff., Zech. 6. 15. " Zech. 6. 13, aUo 3. 9, 4. 7. 10. 

202 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy: 

of the perfect time, Jehovah will arise from His holy 
dwelling-place to make His abode for ever in the 
midst of Jerusalem.^ With Malachi, however, this 
coming to His temple of Jehovah, or the angel of the 
covenant, in whom He appears, and through whom, as 
the guardian and restorer of the covenant (hence the 
name). He holds the assize that separates evil-doers 
from His people, and takes to Himself His true 
I>eople, becomes the main idea of Messianic prophecy.^ 
These references ought to suffice to convince us that, 
according to the counsel of God, the course of history 
and the change of historical circumstances necessarily 

' Zech. 2. 10. 11. 18, 8. 8. 

^ Mai. 3. 1-9. 16 ff. The TnaTakli liohh^UJi (angel of the coyenant) 
is not identical with the previously mentioned messenger who goes 
before Jehovah, and is therefore not Ellas (contra Ewald and Hitzig), 
for this view is contradicted by the mutual relations of the clauses of 
the verse, and particularly by the perfect parallelism of the two relative 
clauses, and their symmetrical reference to Mai. 2. 17. From both it is 
clear that the appearance of the angel of the covenant is simiiltaneons 
with the coming of the Lord to His temple, while the messenger of 
Jehovah (Elias) precedes both. Moreover, the nrr*dh (appearing) of 
^fal. 3. 2 is not an appropriate phrase to apply to a merely human agent, 
and the judicial activity assigned to the angel of the covenant does not 
suit Elias. But neither also may we, with Hengstenberg, think of the 
Messias, or, with Hofmann, of another Moses. Bather is meant the angel 
of Jehovah, in whom Jehovah Himself appoars, for He suffers His name 
{i.e. His manifested being) to dwell in him (cp. Ex. 23. 20, 14. 19, Num. 
20. 16, Isa. 63. 9). This angel is al^o, in an essentially similar way, 
described as the angel of the covenant (Ex. 23. 20 ff). Since the fore- 
going remarks were published, and, as it would appear, independently 
of them, the correct view has been acknowledged by K6hler, Pressel, 
Keil, KVpeb (in loc, cU. p. 436), and von Orelli (in loc, cU, p. 509). 
The objections of Steiner (4th ed. of Hitzig's Kleinen Prophetm) are 
irrelevant, for the copula before moTakh does not prove his difference 
from ?id'ddhdn (the Lord) (cp. Zech. 9. 9) ; the participle bd* after 
hinnih has equal force with the Fut. Imperf. yahho\ and ver. 8 does not 
speak of a way-preparing, but of a sifting and purifying judicial function. 

Its Adaptation to the. Times. 203 

served gradually to develop the various germs of Messi- 
anic truth contaiued in the Old Testament religion, 
so as to indicate from various points of view the salva- 
tion which should appear when the time was fulfilled.^ 
2. It remains now to expound the second point, in 
which the influence of contemporary history makes 
itself from time to time felt even in the ideal sub- 
stance of the Messianic prophecies. The history of 
the Old Testament covenant - people is itself the 
progressive carrying out of the plan devised by God 
for reaching the goal of His saving purposes. By 
God's leading and government Israel must be educated 
and prepared for the fulfilment of his calling and the 
reception of salvation. And the whole world-govern- 
ment of God, even in so far as it determines the 
fortunes of other peoples, has its centre and goal in 
the fulfilment of His decree regarding Israel. In the 
different periods of the history now one and now 
another of the fundamental laws of God's government 
of the world and His Kingdom comes prominently 
into view, just as Israel's ethico-religious condition, 
his external position, and the general circumstances 
of the nations may at this time or that determine. 
The moral order of the world, that presides over 
history and prescribes its course, asserts itself in 
relation to the different directions and objects pur- 

Mt is to the credit of Hofmann that in his work, Weinaagung und 
ErfUUung, he has been the first to exhibit this connexion between 
history and prophecy from the point of view of a believer in revelation. 
This, in spite of the many deficiencies — due mainly to his disowning, 
on principle, all criticism— of this work in other respects. 

204 Tlu Historical Cluiracter of Messianic Propli&cy : 

sued by human freedom in such a way that now one 
and now another of the eternal truths which it 
embraces finds actual attestation in preference to 
others* The course of history is mainly determined, 
now by this anon by that other of the eternal thoughts 
of God, whose sum constitutes the unalterable pro- 
gramme of government which the King of kings has 
marked out for Himself. — At new turning - points, 
moreover, in the progress of historical development 
there generally emerge also to light, from the darkness 
of the hidden counsel of God, new moments of this 
saving plan. If history itself is the progressive 
carrying out of the Divine programme, it must also 
tend more and more to discover it. — Now, the 
prophet discerns the Divine teleology of the history of 
bis time ; to his enlightened eye there is granted an 
insight into the reason and purposes of the Divine 
action in the present and immediate future. Those 
thoughts of God, which take shape in the history 
of his time, as well as the new moments of the 
Divine purpose, which begin to be accomplished in 
it, emerge to his view from the dark confusion of 
daily events with a clearness that dispels the dark- 
ness. To give heed to the signs of the times, and 
point them out to others, to be to his contemporaries 
the interpreter of God's language to His people in 
the facts of history, — is, in fact, a part of the prophet's 
task that is essential to his vocation. — ^In view of the 
psychologically mediated origin of Messianic prophecy, 
we cannot but conclude that the thougJUs of God, which 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 205 

niairdy deio^viine the course of history in the time of the 
jn^ophet, and with which, therefore, his mind is especially 
occupied, are also the fundamental thoughts which give 
his Messianic prophecy Us peculiar content and charaMer, 
For the same reason fresh combinations of historical 
circumstances, new "signs of the time," will yield 
fresh ideas for Messianic prophecy. So often as, in the 
progress of history, preparations begin to be made towards 
a new issue, there will flask upon the 'prophet new gleams 
of insight into the saving purpose of God, and into the 
ways and means of its execution. Hence the parallelism 
abeady mentioned between history and prophecy, hence 
the march together in step of the development of the 
history of the theocracy and the development of 
Messianic prophecy. 

We shall attest and illustrate the truth of these 
remarks, as before, by some examples. One, lying 
immediately to hand, is the prophecy of the entrance 
of the Jieathen into tJie Kingdom of God, The univers- 
alistic tendency, inherent in the Old Testament religion, 
was, in the early days of the latter, restrained by the 
wholly national constitution of the theocracy, and the 
relation of sharp contrast in which at first Israel 
necessarily stood to other nations. As yet Israel 
altogether resembled an arrow hid in the quiver for 
future use (Isa. 49. 2). Even the Messianic prophecy 
of the oldest prophets is essentially particularistic. 
With Joel the scene, of the Kingdom, perfected on 
earth, is still the small country of Judah ; there is not a 
single reference to the kingdom of the Ten Tribes ; there 

206 The Hidorical Character of Messianic Proplucy: 

is not the slightest word of any participation by the 
heathen in the Messianic salvation. They are noticed 
only in so far as they stand in hostile opposition to the 
theocracy, and are therefore victims of the avenging 
judgment But even this judgment strikes only the 
neighbouring peoples, including Egypt; the distant 
"men of Sheba" it leaves untouched.^ With Amos 
the Theocracy of the perfect time extends not only 
over the whole of Palestine, but also over the neigh- 
bouring countries, in so far as they had once been 
subjected by David.* But with Amos also, Judah 
with the house of David at its head is the recipient 
of the Messianic salvation ; through their connexion 
with Judah, the Ephraimites also participate ; not so 
on the other hand, the neighbouring heathen peoples, 
who can recognise only the supreinacy of the people of 
God and of the house of David. — Hosea also places 
the Messianic salvation within the prospect of Israel 
alone. In Zech. 9. 9 f . we. jneiBt, indeed, with an 
extension of the Messianic' outlook beyond the confines 
of Israel ; the King o/^^eace exercises his blissful sway, 
over other peoples besides Israel, to the ends of the 
earth. But it is noticeable that it is only here that 
for the first time the universalistic moment, contained 
in the idea of the theocratic kings/Up, comes to view 
(p. 1 1 6). The Jirst prophecy, preserved to us, properly 
relating to the entrance of the Gentiles into the 

^ Joel 3. 8. 

' Hence Edom is not, as with Joel, made a desert, but only subject 
to the people of God. 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 207 

Kingdom, lies before us in those famous words, 
delivered by Isaiah and Micah, which show us the 
mountain of the house of Jehovah, towering above 
all other mountains, as the centre of the earth, 
whither all peoples go up, yearning for salvation, 
to be instructed in His ways by the God of Jacob, 
and to walk in His paths.^ At .the basis of this 
prophecy there lies the clear perception that in the 
counsel of God His revelation among His people Israel 
is destined for all humanity. — It is some older prophet, 
unknown to us,^ who has been the first, in such words, 
to claim the whole earth for the Kingdom of his God, 
and to announce to all peoples the message of salva- 
tion. But he can hardly belong to a much earlier 
time. For precisely the circumstance that the two 
principal prophets of the Assyrian period, Isaiah and 
Micah, reproduce his words, proves how new and 
remarkable such a prophecy still appeared in their 
time, and the older prophetic writings, which are 
preserved to us, contain, as we have seen, no parallel 
to it — But, apart from this passage, we find that Isaiah 
and Micah repeatedly express the universalistic idea. 
In Isa. 19. 18-25, in particular, it is developed in 
detail in a very peculiar manner. For here the 
prophet expressly shows us the theocracy of the last 
time as one embracing all the then known world, a 
universal Theocracy blessed by Jehovah in all its three 
parts. Israel, the inheritance — as it were, the original 

1 Isa. 2. 2-4, Micah 4. 1-4. 

' In no case Joel, as some have thought. 

208 The Historical Chxiracter of Messianic Prophecy: 

land (Stammland) — of Jehovah, making the centre, on 
the one side Egypt as a land and people th^^t now belong 
to God, on the other Assyria, now also, as Israel, the 
work of His hands, neither of them any longer in 
conflict for the world supremacy, but both serving 
Jehovah, and enjoying peaceful mutual intercourse. — 
The case stands .obviously thus : So long as Israel 
did no more than come in contact with neighbouring 
peoples, so long, ie., as the decree of God that the 
theocracy founded in Israel should have no merely 
national, but a universal-human destination, had not 
as yet declared itself in history ; just so long Messianic 
prophecy announces nothing of the future extension of 
the theocracy over all peoples. Oidy when, through 
the successful efforts of the Assyrians to found a world- 
empire, the fortunes of Israel and the theocracy began to 
i'viwine themselves rvith the fortunes of all peoples of the 
world known to Israel, did this Divine catholicity of 
aim become apparent in the course of history to the 
enlightened eye of him who understood the signs of 
the times. Thenceforward Israel occupies, as it 
were, a loftier position — world-historical, and within 
the horizon of all peoples far and near. Hence the 
clear full knowledge, beginning from this time, that 
God's deeds in and for Israel concern all peoples ; ^ 
hence it is that an Isaiah begins to draw the entire 
history of the world within the sphere of prophecy by 
first concerning himself in detail with the fortunes of 
foreign peoples; hence also, in short, the idea in 

^ Cp. e.g. Isa. 8. 9, 18. 3. 7, 33. 13. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 209 

Messianic prophecy of the universality of the perfected 
Kingdom of God, May we not, perhaps, go further ? 
May we not say that just as Assyria, the instrument 
in the hand of Jehovah, was impelled to intervene in 
the history of Israel, and so minister unconsciously 
to the fulfilment of God's purpose, she must needs 
similarly have exercised — and that altogether immedi- 
ately — a stimulating effect upon the development of 
the knowledge of God's saving purpose. For the idea 
of a world-empire, a universal monarchy was grasped 
by the Assyrians earlier than by the Israelites. In the 
claim laid by the Assyrian kings to a world-supremacy, 
which, according to their high-flown insolence^ no 
people and no god would keep from them or diminish, 
the prophets found occasion to extract its legitimate 
consequence from the Old Testament idea of God — 
viz. that this supremacy must belong much rather to 
the king of Israel The very fact that there stood 
opposed to the theocracy this universal monarchy of 
Assyria, in part already founded, in part only in pro- 
spect, elicits the conception and prospect of a universal 
Theocracy, taking the place of all other kingdoms, and 
gathering all peoples into its unifying embrace. 

Henceforward the universalistic idea remained a 
moment of significant prominence in Messianic pro- 
phecy ; it is so with Zephaniah,^ with Habakkuk,' with 
the author of Zech. 12-14,* with Jeremiah.* With 

1 Isa. 10. 18 f., 36. 18 AT., 87. 11 ff. 

' Esp. Zeph. 2. 11, 8. 9. 

' Hab. 2. 14. *Zech. 14. 9. 16. 

* Jer. 3. 17, 4. 2, 12. 15 ff., 16. 19 f., 46. 26, 48. 47, 49. 6. 89. 

210 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

EzEKiEL, on the other haod, while the universalistic idea 
is not altogether absent, there is a return of the old 
particularism — a circumstance that harmonises with his 
Levitico- priestly standpoint, already discussed- — ^The 
most significant advance in the development of 
prophecy is, however, marked by the oracles — of the 
time of the Exile — of the interest of the heathen in 
the Messianic salvation. In the Book Isa. 40-66 
this prophecy unfolds the richest and fairest blossoms. 
When Israel was actually scattered among the nations, 
and godly Israelites had in their close and constant 
contact with the heathen a perpetual witness to the 
vanity and contemptible folly of idolatry, and were 
made thus only the more conscious of the rich treasure 
entrusted to them in the revelation of the only true 
and living God, and of the victorious force of the 
truth, not only did the certainty, that at no distant 
date all the peoples would acknowledge Jehovah, and 
the theocracy be extended over the whole earth, mount 
to the highest pitch of confidence; but there was 
awakened and developed the consciousness, that Israel 
had been elected by God just for this purpose, that he 
might be a light to the heathen by bringing to all 
peoples the knowledge of the true God.^ Thus, here 
also the new historical circumstances yield a new idea 
to Messianic prophecy, whose rich content has, of 
course, been unfolded by none other as by the Great 
Unknown ; for his successors, the post-Exilian prophets, 

^Cp. my art. ''Der Missionsgedauke im Alten Teataineiit " in Dr. 
Warncck's Allg, Mwsimi^-ZeiiBchnfl, 1880, pp. 462 ff. 

m ^nmt^ wmmtmi^tmim^^^ "^^M 

Its Adaptation to the Times. 211 

while they take up the promise of the future conversion 
of the heathen, do not develop, as he did, its broad 
and deep significance. 

A few further references may, in conclusion, be 
adduced in proof of the positions just laid down. 
Characteristic of the prophets of the Assyrian period, 
Isaiah and Micah, is the oft-repeated thought that 
only a remnant will turn to Jehovah and participate 
in the Messianic salvation. This fundamental thought 
of their Messianic prophecy is at the same time one of 
the thoughts of God that are prominent in the history 
of that period. By the destruction of the kingdom of 
the Ten Tribes the people of God were first of all 
reduced to the citizens of the kingdom of Judah, and 
after the judgment passed upon this kingdom and 
executed by the Assyrians, there was left spared but 
a remnant — Jerusalem and those who had fled thither.^ 
— In the Assyrian period, moreover, there comes into 
clearest light the truth that not even tfie greatest world- 
power can destroy the little kingdom of God, or frustrate 
God's saving purpose concerning Israel, and that, indeed, 
the power that makes the attempt only promotes 
thereby its own ruin. That the right hand of the Lord 
maintains the victory over all enemies, was preached at 
that time with special impressiveness by the history 
both of the Syro-Ephraimitic war and the hostile ex- 
pedition of Sennacherib. Hence this truth also forms 
a dominant note in the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah, 
to whose spiritual vision the impending victory of 

Isa. 37. 4. 32. 

212 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy: 

Jehovah over the Assyrian world-power appears almost 
with the clearness of the actual event. The victorious 
power of Jehovah and His anointed is a feature of 
his pictures of the perfect time that is everywhere 
prominent It destroys all external enemies and 
hardened evil-doers, and thus makes possible the erec- 
tion of the perfected Kingdom. — The close connexion 
between prophecy and history shows itself, a^aiuy with 
special clearness in the fact that the Messianic prophecy, 
which promises the conclusion of an entirely new 
covenant between Jehovah and His people, and dis- 
tinctly and definitely characterises the Theocracy of tlie 
last days as one different from the theocracy that had 
existed hitherto} is announced by just the prophet who 
could not have failed to become convinced, beyond all 
his predecessors, of the inefficiency of the Old Testa- 
ment institutions, and who watched the approach of 
the inevitable destruction of the existing theocracy. 
Jeremiah's experience led him to the perception that 
not even the reformation of the good king Josiah had 
been able to prevent the degeneracy of the whole people 
that followed upon his death. It had become fully 
apparent that a law that was external to the people 
could not keep them permanently true to their God. 
The kingship (since the death of Josiah) and the priest- 
hood had tended rather to the complete derangement 
than to the preservation of the theocracy. And even 
genuine prophecy, handicapped by a conflict with a 
gang of false prophets, was not in a position to prevent 

> Jcr. 31. 29-34; cf. 8. 16 f. 

Its Adaptation to tlie Times, 213 

the corruption, although it undoubtedly contained the 
force that would in the future renovate the people. It 
is at this moment that Xihere flashes across the prophet, 
who sees the downfall of the existing theocracy ap- 
proaching, the insight that the renewed Theocracy, which 
is to have an eternal continuance, mvM he different in 
kind from that which has hitherto existed. The Divine 
judgrnents, he is compelled to annotin^e, themselves teach 
him a lessor in the truth that, as regards the sub- 
stantial form of the theocracy, all old things must pass 
away and all things become new. Further : During the 
Exile the Theocracy, destroyed as to its outward exist- 
ence, and destitute of any external help or support, 
was preserved solely by the living faith and stedfast 
faUhfvlness, maintained even in extreme sufferings, of 
those who were the bearers and representatives of the 
idea of the Servant of Jehovah — ie. the ideal corporate 
personality of the ministry^ chosen and employed by 
Jehovah for the carrying out of His saving purpose. 
In correspondence with this is the announcement of 
prophecy (Isa. 40—66), that it is only hy these means 
that the Kingdom can be accomplished. As in the 
actual history the victorious power of Jehovah and His 

^ This *' ministry " is, iu the first instance, Israel as the people of 
Jehovah's possession ; bat later it appears before the general community 
and over against it as the true people of God, consisting of His actual 
*' servants." In view of the catholic task entrusted to them, and 
implied in their election, the people of Israel are the servant of Jehovah 
** according to the flesh ; " the true worshippers of Jehovah, taken 
separately, in so far as they, like the prophets, are taken by God into 
His special service, are the servant of Jehovah *' according to the 
spirit." The mutual relation of the visible and the invisible Church 
forms a perfect parallel. 

214 Tlie Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy : 

human organs was not externally prominent, bat it 
was clear rather that, according to the Divine counsel, 
the final victory must be won ^by a constant faithful- 
ness to God, and a fulfilment even, if need were, in 
the midst of suffering, and in apparent external defeat 
of the life - task imposed by Him ; so in Messianic 
propliecy the idea comes to be emphasised that faith- 
fulness even unto death and deepest humiliation in 
suffering are, for the servant of God, the way to glory. 
Finally : In the nature of the case it was precisely the 
true worshippers of Jehovah who had mainly to endure 
the sufferings of the Exile ; they it was who had to 
suffer most from the heathen masters, and who were 
besides hated and persecuted by their apostate fellow- 
countrymen. These godly persons, in whom the idea 
of the servant of God had attained the greatest realisa- 
tion, were not, of course, guiltless ; they confessed in 
the name of the people and in their own name that 
the misery of the Exile was the righteous punishment 
of their sins.^ Still they kept hold of their God in 
faith and loyalty ; so far as they were the bearers of 
the idea of the servant of God they had not deserved 
the Exile ; and all that they had to suffer, "because of 
their faithfulness in the service of Jeliovah, was a sinless 
suffering. They bore above others the effects of the 
guilt of Israel's denial of his calling — his rejection of his 
ideal. It was laid upon them to bear the heaviest part 
of the burden of the judgment upon Israel's faithless- 
ness. Upon this true people of God in the midst of 

> Isa. 64. 4 ff. 

Its Adaptation to the Times, 215 

Israel, the (relatively) righteous representatives of the 
unrighteous and faithless Israel, God's wrath against 
the unfaithfulness of His people was executed. Their 
suflfering was a substitutionary hearing of Israel's 
corporaie guilt. It was a guilt - offering for the 
defections of their people. And just for these His 
servants' sake,^ just because of their enduring faithful- 
ness and patience shown in this suffering, the faithful 
covenant-God could not for ever leave His people in 
the power of their enemies. In consideration of the 
willing patience with which they endured the execu- 
tion of His wrath against the sins of the mass of the 
people, it behoved Him for their sake to be gracious 
to the nation of Israel as a whole. Their substitu- 
tionary suffering, therefore, presented itself as a chas- 
tisement which should bring about the salvation of the 
entire people. Thus the historical circumstances of 
the period of the Exile disclose yet another view of the 
saving purpose of God. There is developed the per- 
ception that Israel and humanity owe the salvation of 
the perfect time to the svhstitutionary punitive suffering 
which the innocent servant of God endures in tfte faithful 
discharge of his prophetic vocation for the sins of others, 
and which is for himself the God-ordained path to glory.^ 
We see thus how of necessity history always co- 
operated with Messianic prophecy, enabling it to bring 
to light one moment after another of God's saving 
purpose, and to give ever clearer and more definite 
deliverances as to the end of the ways of God. 

^ Isa. 65. 8. ' Isa. 53. 

216 The Historical Character of Messianic Prophecy. \ 

So much regarding the qualifying and determining 
influence of the varying times upon the content of 
Messianic prophecy. We are now sufficiently prepared ^ 

to determine with some accuracy in a third and last 
section the relation of Messianic prophecy to New 
Testament fulfilment. 



rriHE tendency of our argument hitherto has been to 
-*- expose the error of regarding Messianic prophecy 
as consisting of so many isolated products of a creative 
spirit of revelation, which, working with wholly imme- 
diate effect, and refusing to bind itself to any law of 
human or historical development, finds a constant 
pleasure in the altogether supernatural production of 
absolutely new truths. The religion of the Old 
Testament covenant-people — a religion founded and 
developed by the self-revelation of God — is the mother- 
soil on which prophecy has grown, and from which 
it has drawn its nourishment We recognised in 
prophecy the new blossoms and fruits which, under 
the cpntinuous revealing and enlightening activity of 
the Spirit of God, have developed themselves from 
germs which the Old Testament religion from the first 
kept hid within itself. In these blossoms and fruits, 
appearing in course of time, we remarked a rich variety 
of form and colour, the reason of which we saw to be 
— apart from the mental peculiarities of the several 
prophets — chiefly the qualifying and determining influ- 


218 The Bdation of Messianic Prophecy to 

ence which historical conditions and circumstances 
exercise in every period upon Messianic prophecy. As 
the prophet in all cases regards his historical present 
in the light thrown back upon it from the end of the 
ways of God, so, conversely, he sees the brilliance of 
the final salvation only in the scattered and coloured 
rays through which alone the atmosphere of his present 
suffers it to appear. Similarly, it depends upon the 
historical conditions and circumstances of any particular 
time which of the ideas contained in the Old Testa- 
ment religion, and incorporated in the Old Testament 
theocracy, is made the starting-point of Messianic 
prophecy, or which aspect of the final salvation is 
made specially prominent through the unfolding of the 
germs of Messianic truth which it contains. And, 
finally, the thoughts of God which, as fundamental 
principles of the government of the world, or as 
moments of God's sovereign plan, principally determine 
the course of history in the time of the prophet, are 
also the fundamental thoughts which give to Messianic 
prophecy its peculiar character and content ; and thus, 
in the course of the history of the Old Covenant, 
whensoever anything new is about to transpire, there 
flash across the minds of the prophets new apprehen- 
sions regarding the saving purpose of God, and the 
ways and means in which it is destined to attain 

Before we attempt, on the basis of these results, to 
determine with precision the relation of Messianic pro- 
phecy to New Testament fulfilment, let us remind 


New Testament FvlJUment 219 

ourselves once more of the clear distinction between 
the content of prophecy — the sense, i>., in which the 
prophets themselves understood their own utterances, 
and wished them to be understood by their contem- 
poraries, and that ultimate reference to fulfilment thrcnigh 
Christ which is ordained in God's decree, and which 
entitles them to a place in the process of historical 
revelation. Into the former there must be conveyed 
none of the significance which the word of prophecy has 
acquired only for us who look back upon the entire 
course of the development of Messianic prophecy in 
the light of New Testament fulfilment (pp. 6 ff.). On 
the basis of this clean-cut separation of Old Testament 
prophecy from New Testament fulfilment, we have now 
to exhibit at once the difference and the harmony 
subsisting between the two. 

1. That Old Testament prophecy and New Testament 
fulfilment are not entirely coextensive terms, that, on 
the contrary, the latter transcends the limit of the 
former, is not denied even from the standpoint of the 
one-sided supranaturalistic method of Scripture study, 
although the inclination to reduce the difference to 
the lowest measure possible by reading the soteriology 
of the New Testament into the prophecies of the Old, 
accords exactly with the essence of this method, and 
always makes itself felt more or less in its exegesis. 
Still this standpoint always insists upon this at least : 
that prophecy should be completely covered by the 
fulfilment The particular Messianic announcements, 
it is argued, all indeed bear in themselves the mark 

220 The BekUion of Messianic Prophecy to 

of one-sidednesis, because in every case. there is shown 
to the vision of the prophet only the truth which is 
adapted to and capable of affecting the crisis of the 
particular time, and his prophecy is invariably but the 
correct expression of what he has seen. The Messianic 
prophecies are therefore, it is urged, fragments ; but 
these fragments must admit of being pieced together 
in a uniform well-fitted mosaic, so as to form an 
essentially complete picture of the Messianic salvation 
and the manner of its accomplishment The task of 
construction is, moreover, very considerably lightened 
by the fact that the record of the fulfilment supplies 
us with the clue that enables us to determine with 
certainty the place of each separate piece. There may 
be vacant spaces here and there in the prophetic 
picture ; it may not be altogether suiB&cient to repre- 
sent the entire fulness and glory of the New Testament 
salvation. But there cannot be any feature in the 
prophecies to which there is not some corresponding 
feature in the fulfilment To suppose otherwise is to 
suppose that the prophets did not really speak God's 
word, did not describe oniy what God's Spirit granted 
them to see of the future salvation. This is in the 
main Hengstenberg's view of the relation of prophecy 
to fulfilment, and it leads inevitably to that spirit- 
ualistic evaporising of the concrete, historical, and 
specifically Old Testament features in the Messianic 
prophecies of whose illegitimacy we have already led 
satisfactory proof ^ (pp. 150 ff.). On the basis of 

^ Cp. Hengstenberg'8 Christologle, iii. 2, pp. 185 ff. 

Ifew Testament Fulfilment. 221 

OUT preceding argument we must declare this view 
untenable, and the attempt to piece together in one 
complete picture, without qualification, all the indi- 
vidual features of Messianic prophecy, and to find in 
Christ and His Kingdom the fulfilment of every 
individual feature, we must pronounce at once un- 
warrantable and impracticable. Understood in their 
true historic sense, the individual Messianic prophecies 
are the various forms in which in the course of its 
development, and under varying historical circum- 
stances, the Messianic idea asserted itself. They ought 
not to be compared to the fragments of a picture — a 
figure that could originate only at the lifeless, external, 
mechanical point of view of a one-sided super- 
naturalism. They should be compared rather to the 
different forms of a living organism, which advances 
through a series of phases of development. Just as, in 
the course of its development, individual leaves fall 
from a plant, and are replaced by new ones ; as in the 
development of the brute - organism every organ 
assumes just the form in which at that particular 
stage of development it can best fulfil its intended 
purpose, — so it is with Messianic prophecy. Its con- 
crete significance, its special bearing on the historical 
circumstances of the time of its origin, is of so great 
importance at the time of its announcement that, 
apart from it, it would be able only very imperfectly, 
if at all, to fulfil its destination. But this importance 
is transitory ; it is limited to the time during which 
the circumstances in question continue, and attaches 

222 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

to the times-borrowed features of the prophecy for only 
so long as the historical stage of development, to which 
the prophecy belongs, lasts. By the time the histori- 
cal circumstances were substantially altered, those 
elements of the prophecy had, at least in part and as a 
rule, found their relative times-adapted fulfilment, and 
so far as this was not the case they could never after- 
wards be fulfilled in the sense which they had for the 
prophet and his contemporaries. Such a fulfilment 
would have been possible only on the supposition that 
the Messianic salvation had been really intended in 
the counsel of God to appear so soon as the prophets 
anticipated, t.e. actually in the time during which the 
historical circumstances of the time in which the 
prophecy originated, continued for the main part 
unaltered. A later time lacked the conditions of a 
fulfilment corresponding to their historical sense. 
Hence, so soon as the historical circumstances have 
become substantially altered. Messianic prophecy drops 
these concrete features, — whether they have been 
relatively fulfilled or not, — and something altogether 
new takes the place of the old that has been outlived, 
and has lost its full significance and effective force. 
Thus a very considerable portion — as regards bulk — 
of the content of the Messianic prophecies remains 
oviside the sphere of New Testament fulfilment^ either 
through its, having already found its relative times- 
adapted fulfilment before the ''fulness of time," or 
through its remaining altogether unfulfilled. 

But does not the admission that a portion of 

New Ttstairunt Fulfilment. 223 

prophecy remains thus unfulfilled necessarily present 
itself in a somewhat serious light ? Announcements 
which are not confirmed by fulfilment seem in general 
hardly entitled to be ranked with truth that rests on 
revelation, but rather to be mere human thoughts and 
words that have originated in the prophet's own spirit/ 
and have commingled with what really proceeds from 
Divine revelation* The fulfilment of prophecies 
depends, of course, as a rule upon further conditions, 
expressed or tacitly assumed, which belong to the 
sphere of human freedom, and hence many a prophecy, 
though announced in the Spirit of God, may remain 
unfulfilled.* But it can never be explained in this 
way alone, how a portion of the content of prophecy 
should remain thus unfulfilled. Ko one can seriously 
pretend that if Israel had only exhibited a perfect 
faithfulness to his God it would have been possible, in 
every instance, for the Messianic salvation to appear 
so soon as, and precisely in the manner in which, the 
prophets announced ; and yet only thus could all the 
times - borrowed elements of Messianic prophecy have 

' MUlibbam (cp. 9up. pp. 16 ff.). 

* Cp. on this Bkbthbau in the Jtihrh. /. 2). Th. ir, 334-358, who, 
however, goes too far in supposing that every case of the non-fulfilment 
of prophecy can be explained in this way, and whose argument seems 
in some places almost to assume that there was nothing unconditioned 
or unalterably stable in the purpose of God, and in particular that the 
time of the fulfilment of the promise was not predetermined in His 
eternal counsel ; it appears, however, from his later expositions (e.g, 
pp. 665 f.) that this is not really his meaning. The remarks of 
H. ScHULTZ (in loe, cU, ii. pp. 57 ff., 2nd ed. pp. 242 ff.), both on the 
conditionedness of prophecy and on the limits of this conditionedness 
and alterableness, are much to the point. 

224 TIu Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

been fulfilled. Its partial non-fulfilment has therefore 
an additional reason in a region above that in which 
the promise is conditioned by the conduct of men — 
that, viz., of the eternal counsel of God. Because the 
salvation was designed to appear only when the time 
was fulfilled, it ^as possible that the content of 
prophecy should be partially unfulfilled. But in that 
case do not the scruples we feel at the suggestion of 
a non-fulfilment of prophecy seem justified ? Do not 
the announcements which fail to harmonise with the 
purpose that God has actually conceived and carried 
out appear only as a disturbing element, which in 
consequence of the limits ^ imposed upon his prospect, 
the prophet has mixed up with the announcement of 
what the Spirit had revealed to him of the counsel of 

Such, indeed, would necessarily be our verdict if to 
the concrete historical features of the Messianic pro- 
phecies there belonged only the sense that is limited 
to the time of their origin. Over and above this sense, 
however, they have a permanent significance, relating 
them to the New Covenant, and finding in the latter 
its realisation. 

For they embody, after all, moments of the Messianic 
idea itself, which is through them concretely applied 
to the circumstances of a definite time. What is 
passing encloses thus necessarily also something that 
is permanent; in the husk of the historical present 
there is an ideal kernel of the eternal thoughts of God, 

»Cp. pp. 139 ff. 146 ff. 122 ir. 

New Testament FulJUmeiU. 225 

and when in the later development of Messianic pro- 
phecy the husk is stripped off, the kernel is not there- 
fore surrendered ; it reappears as a constituent of later 
prophecy, but, of course, metamorphosed and invested 
with a new form adapted to its altered circumstances, 
which latter also, when its term has expired, gives 
pl&ce to some other times -adapted investiture. A 
sifting process is thus accomplished, in the course of 
the development of Messianic prophecy, upon the 
contents of* the individual prophecies, the result of 
which is to show what portion of them is of substan- 
tial and permanent import as revealing the Divine 
purpose regarding the fined salvation, and what, on the 
contrary, has only an accidental and passing signifi* 
cance as being merely the envelope in which the 
relative moments of this purpose had to be conveyed 
to the consciousness and lively perception of the pro- 
phet and his contemporaries. The former portion is 
the substance-proper of the revelation that is intended 
for all times. The latter, on the other hand, is either 
only the announcement of such moments of the Divine 
purpose as relate to individual stations of the way to 
the goal of the final salvation, or, at best, only some 
temporary means or channel of revelation; hence its 
partial non-fulfilment need be no occasion of stumbling, 
nor does it in the least degree mark it as a disturbing 
element, mixed up with the genuine oracles of revela- 
tion by the prophet himself without the connivance of 
the Spirit 

As regards their essential and permanent substance^ 


226 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

individual prophecies actually stand in a complementary 
relation to one another. For the historical circum- 
stances of any particular time have always, in greater 
or less degree, their peculiar stamp — they have always, 
80 to speak, their specialties, which never exactly re- 
peat themselves in any later time. Hence in the 
times-features of the individual prophecies there are 
always represented some moments or other of the 
Divine purpose of salvation which no longer appear 
in the later prophecies, or, at the least, some aspect of 
these moments is illumined which the historical circum- 
stances of later times do not offer any opportunity of 
again bringing to light. Thus, in the application 
necessarily made of it in course of time to a great 
variety of different historical circumstances, the Messi- 
anic idea unfolds the wealth of its content, and every 
individual prophecy contributes its part to the work 
of bringing this content completely into view. 

As regards, further, their ideal and permanent sub- 
stance, even the times-features of the Messianic pro- 
phecies are referable to Christ and His kingdom; and, 
indeed, it is only in so far as they relate to Him that 
the oft-repeated saying of Christ is applicable to them : 
*' dei plirothinai pdnia td gegramm6na peri emM^^ 
The eternal thoughts of God that form their kernel, 
attained necessarily in the New Covenant a full accom- 
plishment in Christ, and through Him, consequently, 
they find the fulfilment best suited to their deepest, 

^ '' It is necessary that all things written couceniing me should be 

New Testament FulJUment. 227 

their ideal substance, whereas the times-fulfilment, — if 
in the history of the Old Covenant there have been 
such, — while it corresponds, indeed, more precisely 
with the literal and historical sense of the words, t.e. 
with the concrete form which the eternal thoughts of 
God, in their application to definite historical circum- 
stances, have received in these prophecies, presents 
itself, nevertheless, only as an imperfect and temporary 
accomplishment of the kernel-thoughts. It is clear 
from this that, just in consequence of the times-colour- 
ing of all Messianic prophecies, the typico-Messianic 
element forms a considerable portion of their content, 
and thus the assertion that a typico-Messiamc cliaracter 
is more or less peciUiar to them all, is well founded. 

These remarks seem to us a sufficient acknowledof- 
ment of the measure of truth contained in the view of 
Hengstenberg criticised above, and in particular in his 
spiritualising exegesis of the prophecies. It is true 
that when our object is to. exhibit that ultimate refer^ 
ence of the Messianic prophecies to the ful/Ument in 
Chrisit which gives them their place in the process of 
historical revelation, only the idea contained in the 
times-borrowed features is of essential importance, 
inaccurate as it is to speak of the times- form, in 
which the idea is expressed, as if it were a mere 
figure. Hengstenberg's mistake, momentous as of 
course it is, consists, in fact, solely in his failure to 
distinguish sufGiciently between the content proper of 
the prophecies and that God-intended and God-ordained 
reference to their ultimate fulfilment which is recog- 

228 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

nisable only in the later progress of the history of 
revelation and salvation, and in his misapprehension 
of the significance of their historical sense/ 

2. Similar to the case of the times-borrowed ele- 
ments of Messianic prophecy is that of its specifically 
Old Testament features. These grow from the soil of 
the Old Testament religion. The prophets' knowledge 
of the Divine thoughts of salvation, which are to take 
effect in the New Covenant, is, in harmony with the 
fact of its psychologically mediated origin, developed 
i'rom Old Testament conceptions; they can therefore 
announce these thoughts only as they are apprehensible 
from the Old Testament standpoint. In particular, 
the prophet's conception of the perfected Kingdom can 
never wholly disentangle itself from his view of the 
existing theocracy; every prophet will to a certain 
extent conceive and present the completion of the 
Kingdom of God as merely the perfecting and the 
glorifying of the existing theocracy, and hence every 
prophecy will have to a certain extent a specifically 
Old Testament colouring, betraying the soil from which 
it has sprung.^ Equally with the times-features these 
specifically Old Testament elements are for the pro- 
phetic consciousness no mere figures; they are rather 
the envisaging forms under which it possesses the know- 
ledge of the saving thoughts. It is true that even the 
prophet himself has in many cases a more or less clear 

^ Cp. p. 162, note. 

* Cp. Obhler, art "Weissagung," in Herzog*8 Bealencyll, xvii. 
665, and Theologie ctes AlUn TeatamenUtf, ii. § 216. 


New Testament Fulfilment. 229 

consciousness of the fact that these envisaging forms 
are inadequate to express the saving thoughts which 
they invest; hence not unfrequently there appear, 
borrowed from the conception of the existing theocracy, 
features which the prophets could not conceivably 
mean to be understood literally, in their use of which 
they are manifestly concerned much rather with the 
idea than with the envisaging form, which latter, 
indeed, seems to pass completely over into the sphere 
of conscious symbolism. Think, for example, of the 
announcement that all the heathen who survive the 
judgment ivill come year by year to Jerusalem to cele- 
brate the Feast of Tabernacles,^ or that " all flesh " will 
make a pilgrimage to Jerusalem every Sabbath and 
every new moon? Even in delineations of the perfected 
Kingdom that keep themselves in other respects within 
the limits of Old Testament conceptions, the same 
transition is sometimes observable in individual fea- 
tures, yet not to such an extent as to warrant the whole 
being taken allegorically. Thus, eg., Ezekiel, in the 
description of the new theocracy in the famous pro- 
phecy of the stream proceeding from the dwelling-place 
of God and transforming the holy land into paradise, 
allows the idea to emerge most unmistakably from its 
Old Testament investiture, and makes the latter appear 
only as its symbolic veil. — Nevertheless, as a rule, the 
prophet cannot consciously distinguish between the Old 
Testament envisaging form and the saving thoughts of 
God which it contains ; he grasps the latter only in the 

1 Zecli. 14. 16 ff. ' Isa. 66. 23. 

230 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

envelope of the former, and is, in general, not in a 
position to dispense with the Old Testament envelopes.^ 
But what he is personally unable to accomplish, accom- 
plishes itself, for the most part, in the course of the 
total development of Old Testament prophecy, for at 
its culminating points the apprehension of the saving 
thoughts of God tends clearly to free itself from the 
limitations of Old Testament conceptions. And indeed, 
in general, the prophecy that is later in point of time 
is also the prophecy that is more developed and that 
brings to clearer and more perfect light the saving 
purpose of God and the true character of the perfected 
Kingdom. On the whole, the kernel of the eternal 
thoughts of God tends, in the Messianic prophecies of 
the later prophets, more and more to shine through 
and discard the Old Testament veils. While, e,g., the 
oldest Messianic prophecy still preserves, even in the 
delineation of the perfected Kingdom, the national 
exclusiveness of the existing theocracy, this exclusive- 
ness has already disappeared in the prophets of the 
Assyrian period, who represent the Kingdom as ex- 
tending over the whole earth and embracing all 
peoples.* But especially in Jeremiah and Deutero- 
Isaiah Messianic prophecy reaches a pitch of develop- 
ment in which the far-reaching difiference between the 
Old Testament economy and that of the New Covenant 
is clearly recognised and expressed. — Still, the validity 

^ Cp., on the above propositions, the pertinent remarks of Tholuck 
in Die. Propheten und ihre Weissagtmgen, pp. 149-156. 
» Cp. pp. 205 ff. 

New Testament FidJUment, 231 

of this canon is but a conditioned and limited validity ; 
for, on the one hand, the degree in which the Messianic 
apprehensions remain envisaged in specifically Old 
Testament forms, depends to a considerable extent 
upon the standpoint of the particular prophet, as we 
see instanced in the case of Ezekiel, who, though the 
contemporary of Jeremiah, has, least of all, been able 
to figure to himself the people of God of the future 
time apart from the institutions and ordinances 
of the Old Testament theocracy;^ and, on the other 
hand, in the course of historical development relapses 
constantly occur after the attainment of culminat- 
ing points, as is exemplified in the fact that in 
the post -Exilian time the limitation of Messianic 
apprehension to Old Testament forms becomes again 
much greater than with Jeremiah and Deutero-Isaiah. 
These heights of development, however, at which 
Messianic prophecy, whether as a whole or in some of 
its individual utterances, approximates most closely to 
New Testament assurance, involuntarily reveal them- 
selves clearly and definitely to the eye of one who 
lives in the time of fulfilment. From them as stand- 
points, the essential oneness of a whole of Messianic 
prophecy that yet has been developed through various 
historical stages is seen to lie ready for review. 
Through the light falling from them upon the lower 
stages, prophecy itself reveals the note of transiency 
which attaches to many of its Old Testament envelopes 
of the Divine thoughts of salvation. It shows that 

» Cp. pp. 129 flf. 

232 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

these envisaging forms, like the times-features, are not 
of the substance of revelation, but are merely temporary 
— ^sometimes even merely individual — ^means of revela- 
tion, which are able to claim a permanent significance 
only in virtue of their typico-symbolical character. 

If, e,g,, according to Ezekiel, animal sacrifices, includ- 
ing even sin- and guilt-offerings, are still to be offered 
in the perfected Kingdom,^ Hosea and Isaiah have 
already taught us to see in this something that belongs 
merely to the Old Testament envelopes of the prophetic 
word, the former, by his representation of the repentant 
'people as vowing, not animal sacrifices, but the '* calves 
of our lips," ' i.e. praise to God as thanksgiving for His 
mercies; the latter, by his omitting — Isa. 19. 21 apart 
— all mention either of sacrificial ritual or of priest- 
hood in connexion with the people of God of the 
Messianic time. 

If, according to Ezekiel, the difference between 
priests and laity is to continue even in the Messianic 
time, or be made even more rigid than formerly,^ and 
the people to be instructed, as formerly, by the priests 
in the ceremonial law,* prophecies like that of Jere- 
miah, that in the New Covenant all will have the same 
access to God and the same knowledge of Him,^ or 
that of Deutero-Isaiah, that all Israel will be a nation 
of priests, and will be taught in all his members by 
Jehovah Himself,* tend to place such utterances in the 

^ Ezek. 40. 39, 42. 1.3, 44. 2P, 46. 20. » Hoa. 14. 2. 

' Ezek. 44. 19. < lb. ver. 23. * Jer. 81. 34. 

«I«a. 61. 6, 66. 21, 64. 13. 

New Testament Fulfilment. 233 

light' of an Old Testament element in the prophecy of 
Ezekiel, to which only an individual importance can 
be attached. And if Ezekiel describes with the utmost 
minuteness the new temple which is to be erected in 
Jerusalem, and in which God will dwell in the midst of 
His people ; if, similarly, post-£xilian prophecy lays the 
greatest stress upon an adornment of the temple that 
will make it a worthy dwelling-place of God, because 
it also conceives the gracious presence of God among 
His people as associated even in the perfect time with 
the visible sanctuary, — we must put side by side with 
such utterances the announcement of Jeremiah, that in 
the Messianic kingdom there will no longer be an ark 
of the covenant or an inaccessible Holy of holies, for 
the entire holy city will be the throne of Jehovah, and 
all peoples will assemble thither as to the place where 
God reveals Himself,^ — an announcement in the light 
of which the other conception must appear also as 
an Old Testament husk, which the more developed 
Messianic prophecy has already stripped off as but 
the vesture of the saving thoughts of God. 

Thus by the criticism which Old Testament pro- 
phecy, considered as a whole, passes upon the details 
of its own content there are separated from each other, 
also as regards a great number of the specifically Old 
Testament features of prophecy, the transient envisaging 
forms, and the saving thoughts which they enclose ; 
and it goes without saying that the former must lie 
outside the sphere of New Testament fulfilment, while 

» Jer. . 16 f. 

234 The Bdatixm of Messianie Prophecy to 

the latter attain accomplishment in the New Covenant 
Hence the sphere of the typico-Messianic, the sphere, 
i.e.y of the prophecies which do not find fulfilment in 
Christ in their historic sense, but only in their ideal 
substance, embraces, as Old Testament prophecy itself 
teaches, a large portion of its peculiarly Old Testament 
theocratic conceptions.^ 

3. But can a separation between the Divine saving 
thoughts and their transient envisagiug forms, which 
takes place thus during the actual historical develop- 
ment of revelation, be said to have been completed 
within the era of the Old Covenant, — say with the 
extinction of prophecy ? Must we not from the first 
take for granted that in general the Divine saving 
thoughts have emerged into full light only through 
their realisation in actual fact, and that hence the 
complete discarding of the Old Testament husks, which 
invest them in Messianic prophecy, cannot have hap- 
pened sooner ? Such indeed is the fact. Even at its 
highest pitches of development Messianic prophecy 
could not rid itself entirely of specifically Old Testa- 
ment conceptions. Some pervade the entire scheme 
of prophecy, and present themselves only in the light 
of New Testament fulfilment as merely symbolico- 
typical husks of ideas, whose accomplishment was 

^ Cp. Oehlvr, art. '' Woisaagang," p. 656 : " It is not the conscious- 
ness of the individual prophet, but the Spirit of revelation Himself, 
who already within the Old Testament at each higher stage of prophecy 
strips oif the temporary form adhering to the prophecy of the earlier 
stage, until in the fulfilment the full extent of the symbolic investi- 
ture comes to be recognised.*' Cp. TJieUogie dea Alten Teatamtnte^y 
ii. § 216. 

New Testament Fulfilment, 235 

decreed in God's saving purpose. Of this nature is 
the conception that Jerusalem, the city which Jehovah 
had chosen to place His name there, would also in the 
perfect time be the place of God's revealing and 
gracious presence on earth, and as such the centre of 
the Kingdom ; there God will dwell in the midst of 
His people ; thence also He exercises the sovereignty 
over His Kingdom, which embraces all lands ; there 
also He becomes manifest to the heathen, and there 
all peoples worship Him. Even in the announcement 
that God's revealing presence will no longer be tied tQ 
the ark of the covenant or the inaccessible Holy of 
holies,^ Jeremiah holds fast by this conception ; it 
dominates similarly all the other Messianic prophecies 
of the Old Testament, and betrays its influence, now 
in wider, now in narrower compass, in the concrete 
details of the delineated picture of the Messianic 

And cei-tainly Jerusalem, as the place where the 
Mediator of the New Covenant offered His all-sufficient, 
eternally-availing sacrifice, where by His resurrection 
He showed Himself the Prince of life, where the Holy 
Spirit was poured out upon the disciples, became, even 
in the history of the fulfilment, the principal scene of 
the Divine revelations and deeds which have accom- 
plished the final salvation ; as such it remains in a 
ertain sense, even for the New Testament Theocracy, 
a centre, whither turn all eyes that are directed to 
God's saving revelation in the Son, So far Jerusalem's 

1 Jer. 3. 18 f. 

236 I7ie Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

election came to its rights even in the New Testament 
f alfilment ; so far also the conception of its centrality 
that pervades Old Testament prophecy is signally 
attested as conformable to the decree of God. But 
only so far; neither in Jerusalem nor in any other 
place on earth has the Kingdom of Christ, which is 
" not of this world," an external visible centre, as the 
theocracy of the Old Testament had ; with Christ there 
dawned a time in which Jerusalem, as well as Mount 
Gerizim, loses its character of eminence as a holy place, 
— ^the time of a worship of God in spirit and truth,^ 
freed from all limitation as to place, time, and external 
ceremony. The express testimony of Christ, and the 
actual character of His Kingdom permit us to recog- 
nise in the conception that Jerusalem should be 
permanently the place of Jehovah's revelation and 
worship, merely an Old Testament form of envisage- 
ment of which Messianic prophecy was unable to rid 
itself — an inability resulting from the fact that to the 
last it held to the conception of a theocracy confined to 
the natural * terrestrial world, whereof anon. — Hence the 
conception of Jerusalem as the " city of God " receives 
in the New Testament also a symbolico-typical signi- 
ficance. Even Jewish theology had distinguished 
the upper,^ other- world, heavenly Jerusalem, from the 
lower* Jerusalem, which is but its earthly image; and 
Fhilo's speculative idealism had found in Jerusalem, 
the city of God, a figure of the world as the place 

1 John 4. 23 f. 2 [Die8Ae%tig,—Tvi,'\ 

' Y^rvAhdlayim ahkUmcC&hlh. * Yh^ushdlayitn shil-viaf^h. 

New TestamerU Fulfilment. 237 

of God's abode and revelatioD, or of the soul of 
the wise man, in whom God dwells.^ In the same 
way the New Testament opposes to the earthly Jeru- 
salem its antitype, the heavenly, expressing thus sym- 
bolically the contrast between the Old Testament 
theocracy (the earthly Jerusalem) and the Kingdom of 
Christ (the heavenly Jerusalem), which belongs essen- 
tially to the supersensuous heavenly world, and is the 
sphere of the substantial presence of God and of full 
communion with Him, and conceiving at the same time 
of the latter. as already existing on earth in the Church, 
though its perfect form is meanwhile only in heaven, 
and descends thence to the earth only at the second 
coming of Christ.^ This heavenly Jerusalem takes, in 
the New Covenant, the place of the earthly, which 
is only its shadow ; hence also the New Testament 
writers referred the Old Testament prophecies of the 
glorifying of Jerusalem as the place of God's abode and 
revelation in the Messianic kingdom — with elimina- 
tion of the peculiarly Old Testament elements — to this 

* Cp. my Lfhrhegr^dtB Htbrderhriffes^ pp. 253 f. 

* And indeed the " New JeruBalem " of the Apocalypse (Rev. 8. 12, 
21. 2ff. 10 ff.), intimately allied to the phrase of the Jewish theolog}', 
is the Kingdom of Christ in iu other-world ticcomplufhTnerU, in which it 
exists at present only in heaven, to lower itself thence to earth not sooner 
than the Parousia. In the Epistle to the HehrewB^ on the other hand 
(Heb. 11. 10. 16, 12. 22, 13. 14), ''the heavenly Jerusalem" denotes 
the Kingdom of Christ that is indeed complete only in heaven (so 
far therefore a future kingdom), and yet is already erected even in this 
World, affording to believers a means of intercourse with the super- 
sensible heavenly world, and of eigo^ing its goods (cp. my Lehrbegr^ff 
des Hebr&erbriffeSf pp. 117 ff.)-^ The " Jerusalem which is above" of 
the Apostle Paul (Gal. 4. 26 ; cp. Phil. 8. 20) has essentially the same 

238 The Jtelation of Messianic Prophecy to 

heavenly Jerusalem, in other words, to the Kingdom of 
Christ} and found foretold in them its future erection 
in glorious accomplishment at the time of the Parousia. 
This is seen most clearly in those numerous passages of 
the Apocalypse where the features descriptive of the 
New Jerusalem are borrowed from the last chapters of 
Ezekiel and from Deutero-Isaiah. 

Can the case be otherwise with another conception 
which also pervades all Old Testament prophecy — 
the conception, viz., that Israel, as Jehovah's chosen 
and peculiar people, will continue to be, even in the 
last time and with conservation of his national idiosyn- 
cracy, the kernel of the people of God, assuming, as a 
nation, a position of royalty in the Messianic kingdom, 
and fulfilling the priestly function of mediator between 
God and the rest of humanity ? As is well known, a 
view, which was stoutly maintained by Bengel and his 
school, — ^though its advocates in former centuries were 
but few and far between, — has found of late much 
acceptance in England and Germany, being represented, 
among others, by such considerable theologians as Mich. 
Baumgarten, J. T. Beck, Auberlen, von Hofmann, 
Delitzsch, and Stier, to the effect that when the "times 
of the Gentiles " ^ have expired, the prophecies, implied 
in such announcements, will find a literal fulfilment 
in Israel as a nation. Peculiar once and for ever, it is 
urged, to the people of Israel in virtue of their election, 
is the calling, which assigns them their place in the 
history of salvation, as the recipients and mediators 

* Cp. e.g, the citation iu Gal. 4. 27. ' Ka%ro\ ethndn. 

New Testament FulJUment 239 

of Divine revelatioD, and constitutes them a royal, 
priestly people, whose part it is to mediate the rela- 
tions of the rest of humanity to God. Granted that 
Israel was the recipient of the Divine revelations in 
the time of the Old Covenant, and that his calling 
and destination were fulfilled through Christ and His 
apostles, who indeed were a company of Israelites, this 
does not imply that the purposes of God in the election 
of Israel have been fully accomplished, or that the 
promises given to Israel, that he should in the future 
attain holiness as a people, and exercise his priestly 
vocation on behalf of all peoples, have been fulfilled. 
His vocation and his promises continue even in the 
time of the New Covenant, and that in spite of his 
obstinate refusal of God's revelation in His Son, and 
his consequent temporary rejection, for " the gifts and 
calling of God are without repentance,"^ and these 
promises concern the last time, in which the Kingdom 
of God will assume its full glory. After the present 
period of the Kingdom of God, after the times of the 
Gentile Christian Church, when the kingdom of the 
Millennium shall have been erected, repentant Israel, 
gathered from the dispersion to the Holy Land, will 
appear at the head of humanity. Then will be heard 
again the voice of revelation, dumb since the time of 
Israel's rejection ; then will the priestly kingdom of the 
people of Israel be upon earth what the glorified priest- 
kings are in heaven ; then only does Israel as a people 
fulfil his destination, and participate in the glory 

Rom. 11. 29. 

240 The Bdation of Messianic Propliecy to 

promised to him.^ It is, further, only in the line of 
logical sequence that individual advocates of this view 
should expect not only the gathering of dispersed 
Israel into the land of Canaan, and the restoration of 
Jerusalem as the capital of the theocracy, but also the 
erection of the temple described by Ezekiel, and the 
revival of the ceremonial and civil law of Moses in the 
ciiltus and constitution of the Millennial kingdom.^ 
This rendering of Old Testament prophecy has been 
contrasted favourably with the spiritualising typico- 
allegorical mode of exegesis that has prevailed in the 
Church, and passed as orthodox since the third century 
as marking a very substantial progress made in modern 
times in the understanding of the Divine prophetic 
word — a progress through which exegesis for the first 
time does justice to the " realism of Scripture " as well 
as to the true historical sense of the prophecies. — Sucli 
praise, however, we must take leave to a certain extent 
to call in question. The abandonment of the tradi- 
tional spiritualising exegesis of the Church and the 
approximation to the strictly historical method of 
interpretation, must be allowed to mark real progress. 
When, however, the historical sense, gained by this 

* Cp. e.g, AuBERLEN, Der Prophet Daniel und die Ojfenbarung 
Johannis, 2nd ed. pp. 887 ff. ; also hid Abhandlung iiber die m^Jtsi- 
aniiichen Wevtsagungen der mosaiachen Ztit in den Jahrhh.f. /). TheoL 
1858, Hft. iv. especially pp. 791, 801 ff., 834 ff., and Hofmanx's 
Schr\fthe,wei»t vol. ii. pt. 2, pp. 74 ff. (Ist ed.). 

^ So, «.gr., J. J. He88 in bis Briefe iiber die Offenbarung Johannes, 
pp. 180 ff. ; but also Aubkrlen, Der Prophet Daniel, p. 401, and 
HoFMANN in loc, cit. p, 588, though bis conception is less literal, and 
M. Baumgartkn in the article ** Ezechiel " in Herzog's Real-Enryklo- 
pddie (Ist ed.) iv. pp. 303 f. 

Nexo Testament Fulfilment. 241 

method, is, iT^ithout distinction of the temporary or 
individual from the ideal or eternal elements, hastily 
assumed to be part of the substance of the prophecy, 
and is considered a literal announcement of the Divine 
decrees bearing on the final completion of the theo- 
cracy, I can see in this, not progress, but only retro- 
gression — and Judaistic error} It is an exaggeration of 
the importance of the historical sense due to the same 
one-sided supemattcraliam in the mode of viewing piGphecj 
noticeable in the unhistorical spiritualising method of 
the elder orthodoxy; hence also it shares with the 
latter the erroneous assumption that Old Testament 
prophecy must be completely covered by a New 
Testament fulfilment, in which the content of every 
individual feature will be fully represented. It is 
chargeable, moreover, with the same mistaken com- 
mingling of Old and New Testament elements, only 
with the difference that, whereas the old orthodoxy 
introduces New Testament perceptions into the Old 
Testament, this new supernaturalism takes over into 
the economy of the New Covenant what belongs pro- 
perly to that of the Old. 

We cannot offer here a detailed vindication of this 
criticism. This is hardly necessary in any case, as the 
refutation of the assumptions, on which the view 
criticised rests, has already, in great part, been ac- 
complished in our previous expositions of the histori- 
cal character of the Messianic prophecies. We shall 
present only some general points of view from which 

^ With this agrees KCpek's verdict in loe. cU. pp. 480, 486. 


242 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

its untenableness is easily recognisable/ and confine 
ourselves, in what remains, to a positive exhibition of 
the true state of the case. 

It is, in the first place, absolutely impossfible to work 
out the view in question in detail with even a small 
measure of logical sequence. There are obviously many 
of the Old Testament elements contained in prophecy 
which not even the most decided advocates of this 
view can assume will be fulfilled in the same way with 
others, i,e, according to their full historical sense, in 
reference to which rather they are compelled to have 
resort to the old allegorico-typical mode of exposition. 
We refer, by way of example, to the emphatic asser- 
tion of the difference between priests and laity, and of 
the privilege of the posterity of Zadok, as well as to 
the mention of sin- and guilt-offerings, and, in general, 
of animal sacrifice in the Messianic prophecy of Ezekiel. 
To apply here the literalistic method would involve a 
fiat contradiction, not only of the clearest testimonies 
of the New Testament, but also of the Messianic 
prophecy of the Old Covenant itself ; it is thus a case 
in which we must call to our aid some kind of typico- 
allegorical explanation. The inconsistency, however, 
of referring such features to the realm of allegor}% 
while claiming a literal interpretation for most of the 
others, is assuredly not chargeable to Ezekiel, but to 

* We must not, however, omit most cordiaUy to recommend the 
advocates of the view to a fresh, candid, and thorough consideration of 
the excellent discussions of Bebthsau, '*Die aittestamentliche Weissa- 
gung von Israels Reichsherrlichkeit in seinem Lande," in the Jdhrbh. 
/. D, Theol 1859, pp. 314 ff. and 595 flf. and 1860, pp. 436 ff. 

New Testament FulJUment. 243 

the expositor, who brings with him a false ^' principal 
key to the understanding of the prophetic word." ^ But 
once more : Berthsau has given deserved prominence 
to the fact that the announcement of the '' imperial 
glory of Israel " ^ stands in the individual prophecies, 
almost throughout, in the closest connexion with that 
portion of their contents which relates to the historical 
circumstances of the time of their utterance, and that 
therefore the view, which expects its perfectly literal 
future fulfilment, can be logically carried out only upon 
the assumption of the recurrence of all these historical 
circumstances.^ As this is essentially impossible, — 
inasmuch as the historical circumstances of one time 
exclude those of another, — and as none may venture 
upon the romantic assumption that, before the expected 
restitution of the kingdom of Israel, the empires of 
Assyria, and Babylonia — not to speak of the Philis- 
tines, the Edomites, the Moabites, and the Ammonites, 
— will again step upon the stage of universal history, 
as also that the disruption between the kingdom of 
Judah and that of the Ten Tribes will repeat itself in 
order to make its removal possible, it must be admitted 
that here also we cannot get beyond the traditional 
typico - allegorical mode of exposition. But what a 
net of inconsequence is here for the literalistic view I 
We are to take literally the announcement that the 
people of Israel will be assembled in the land of 

^ Words of AUBERLEK, Der Prophet Daniel, p. 388. 
* [Part of the title of the work cited above. — Tr.] 
' Cp. Bertheau in loc, cU. 1859, pp. 356 f., 363. 

244 The Belation of Messianic Propliecy to 

Canaan, and form there, under the rule of the Son of 
David, a powerful flourishing State in the centre of the 
Kingdom of God upon earth ; but we are not to take 
literally the announcements annexed to it, that they 
will reduce to subjection the remnant of Edom, the 
Philistines, Ammonites, and Moabites.^ When Isaiah 
depicts the theocracy of the perfect time as a universal 
theocracy, embracing all the then known world, and 
consisting' of three kingdoms, which, while independ- 
ent of one another, yet enjoy peaceful mutual inter- 
course, and are all alike the property and the servants 
of Jehovah, Israel, as the chiefly blessed, aboriginal 
land of Jehovah, in the centre, Assyria and Egypt on 
its two respective sides,^ we are to understand that 
what is said of Israel is meant literally, and will be 
exactly so fulfilled, but not what relates to Assyria 
and Egjrpt ; in general, whenever Israel is mentioned, 
we are to understand the Israelitish nation ; so soon, 
however, as the prophetic word names other peoples, it 
does not mean to designate the respective historical 
nationalities, but only to typify the world-kingdoms, 
which stand opposed to the theocracy! Thus does 
this literalistic conception of prophecy fail to extricate 
itself from the errors of the traditional typico-allegorical 
mode of interpretation, which it would fain improve, 
and is, with its half-measures and its inconsequence, 
only a degree more untenable than the latter. 

Apparent also from the remarks just made is the 
very serious degree in which this literalistic theory 

^ Cp. e,g. Amos 9. 12, Ua. 11. 14. » j^^ 19^ 23 ff. 

Ntw TestamerU Fulfilment. 245 

fails to recognise the true histoi'iccU character of pro- 
phecy. Very specially it fails to apprehend how for 
the prophets and their contemporaries even the nearly 
impending future is wholly transfigured by the light 
which falls upon it from the end of the ways of God, 
and how therefore the immediately impending times 
of salvation and grace are frequently depicted, as if 
their dawn were already the dawn of the perfect time.^ 
A genuinely historical view of prophecy has, of course, 
in such cases to distinguish between an announcement 
which, under certain definite historical circumstances, 
peculiar to a particular time, places within a more or 
less near prospect deeds of grace and redemption to 
be wrought by God for His people Israel, and the ideal 
setting and colouring which this announcement derives 
from the fact that, in the consciousness of the prophet, 
the salvation promised to Israel and the salvation of 
the perfect time are merged together. To such a view, 
therefore, it will seem no more than natural that the 
actual times-fulfilment of the promise made to Israel 
should be only a relative fulfilment, and one that, 
at parts, necessarily falls considerably short both in 
internal significance and external glory of the picture 
projected by prophecy, and it will expect for the latter 
such higher and fuller accomplishment as will corre- 
spond to its ideal svhstance, and be characteristic of 
the last times. But it will never be able to regard 
this ultimate fulfilment as one that wiU, even in 
external respects, perfectly correspond with the literal 

1 Cp. pp. 152 f. 

246 The ReUUion of Messianic Prophecy to 

complex of the phrases used hj prophecy ; nor will it 
reckon as part of the ideal substance of prophecy 
those concrete elements which relate to the immediate 
fulfilment supplied by the subsequent history of Israel, 
as if these were to enjoy another and more brilliant 
fulfihnent ; nor, similarly, will it take leave to assume 
that the ideal substance of prophecy has a special 
validity for Israel, as if its proper fulfilment lay in 
the sphere of that nationality. 

It is therefore to mistake the historical character 
of prophecy, and to ignore the lesson taught by the 
wider course of the history of the Kingdom of God as 
to the diiference between the properly eschatological and 
the merely times-elements in the content of prophecy, 
to say: What was prophesied of Israel's conversion 
and glorious restitution to the promised land, was only 
very imperfectly fulfilled in the return from the Baby- 
lonian exile, and the doleful centuries of the restoration 
of the Old Testament theocracy ; hence, unless we 
refuse altogether to believe in the fulfilment of pro- 
phecy, its fuller accomplishment is still to be looked 
for in a future assembling of converted Israel in the 
Holy Land, and in the imperial glory with which he 
will then be invested.^ For that which belongs only 
to the first step of a mere times-fulfilment, this argu- 
ment coolly transfers to the realm of eschatological 
fulfilment ; what is in reality but the beginning of 
fulfilment is made the end. 

Further, the conception of the prophecies of Israel's 

* Cp. AuBERLKN, Der PropheL Daniel^ pp. 391 f. 

New Testament Fulfilment. 247 

imperial power, which we here combat, is opposed hy 
ancUogy. As we have seen, there are, within the 
Messianic prophecy of the Old Covenant, important 
differences in the degrees in which the envisEiging 
forms of the Old Testament are insisted upon ; at its 
highest pitches prophecy discards many of them, and 
thus itself warns us n>ot to expect any perfectly literal 
fiUfilment of such oracles. But, instead of following 
up this hint, and judging the whole case of the Old 
Testament envisaging forms of prophecy according to 
the analogy of such instances, the view in question — 
the moment it is applied with any degree of logical 
consistency — stints and limits the content of those 
more highly developed Old Testament prophecies which 
come nearest to the standard of New Testament 
assurance, in favour of a literal understanding of others 
that keep within the limits of the Old Testament forms. 
Instead of the letter of prophecy being judged in the 
light of those higher manifestations, in which every 
now and then the Spirit reveals itself more clearly, 
this very revelation of the Spirit of prophecy is again 
obscured by an insistence upon the letter. — There is, 
however, yet another and more complete analogy which 
is contravened by this view. It has already been 
shown how, according to the witness of the New 
Testament, the case stands with the conception that 
even in the Messianic time Jerusalem will remain 
the place of Jehovah's abode and revelation, and the 
centre of the theocracy. This conception, which in like 
manner pervades the entire scheme of Old Testament 

248 The Belation of Messianic PropJieci/ to 

prophecy, hangs together in the ipost indissoluble way 
with the prophecy of Israel's imperial glory in his 
own land. If, now, the warrant of this conception 
has been attested in the founding of the Kingdom of 
Christ by just such an historical fulfilment as was 
necessarily involved in a Divinely-ordained connexion 
between the Old and New Testament kingdom and 
people of God, which was not merely pretypical, 
but also organico-historical, but if, beyond this, the 
conception retains for the Kingdom of Christ only a 
symbolico-typical significance, it cannot be permissible 
to understand the announcement of Israel's imperial 
glory in his own land quite differently ; on the contrary, 
it can be judged only in conformity with this analogy. 
Yet once more, and finally, it must be pointed out 
that the view of our opponents, in order to favour the 
Israelitish nation, must, first of all, deny the applica- 
bility to the Church of Jesus Christ of most of the 
promises to whose comfort she has hitherto believed 
herself entitled. For it is affirmed of all the pro- 
mises made to Israel as Jehovah's chosen and peculiar 
people — and they certainly form the great majority 
of the total number of promises — that they are valid, 
not only in their historical sense (which we decidedly 
admit), but also in their God-ordained ultimate re- 
ference to fulfilment in the historical scheme of saving 
revelation, for Israel as a people, as a nation. A 
Church essentially Gentile-Christian may only medi- 
ately regard them as promises given to her. Yet, 
as promises immediately available for her, there are 

New Testament Fulfilment , 249 

allowed to remain the prophecies of the incomiDg of 
the Gentiles to the Kingdom of God, and their par- 
ticipation in the salvation bestowed upon Israel, and 
these in turn will certainly confer the right, mediately 
to refer to herself the promises intended properly 
for the people of Israel in view of their future con- 
version. In no spirit of " Gentile pride," ^ but under 
a grateful sense of the grace of God bestowed upon 
her, and supported, as we shall immediately see, by 
the testimony of the New Testament, the Church will 
always firmly protest against such a conclusion, and 
will reject the view, whose fruit it is, as unchurchly 
and heterodox. — But more than this : In order to 
glorify Israel, this view takes from Christ Himself 
His proper honour. For if Israel is destined to 
exercise a perpetual priesthood between God and 
humanity, and will in the Millennial kingdom of the 
future fulfil this destination, '' imparting Aiediatorially 
to the nations the blessing of communion with God 
in a far other and more glorious way than hitherto," ^ 
Christ is no longer the sole Mediator between God 
and men, for the mediatorship of Israel is interposed 
between Him and the rest of humanity in such a way 
as to make His mediatorial function depend for its 
efficiency upon the mediatorship of IsraeL And if 
Israel's conversion and salvation are to be " the first 
real spiritual quickening of the Gentiles," it is again 
apparent that the full Tevelation and efficiency of 

^ AuBEBLEN, AbhandL p. 885. 

^ AUBEBLEN, Dtr Prophet Daniel, pp. 889 f., and AbhaaidL p. 803. 

250 Hie Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

Christ as the PneHma zOopoioHn (" quickening Spirit ") 
for the nations and the Gentile Church, are conditioned 
by the attitude of Israel, being dependent upon a right 
fulfilment of his vocation by the latter, which is still 
in prospect If, moreover, this view were applied to 
those prophecies which its advocates are accustomed 
to interpret as directly Messianic (although, in truth, 
in their historical sense they apply quite as much, in 
the first instance, to Israel as the people of God), i.e. 
to the entire prophecy concerning the servant of 
God,* the degree to which such an exaggeration of the 
historical sense of prophecy necessarily tends to 
diminish the honour of the name of Jesus Christ, and 
to fail in the recognition of the all-sufficiency of His 
saving work, would be yet much more apparent. 

Many of the advocates, however, of the view we are 
combating do not go so far as, e.g., Auberlen. They do 
not expect a perfectly literal fulfilment of the prophecy 
of Israel's imperial glory. It is acknowledged that 
much of it is, in the light of New Testament fulfil- 
ment, to be regarded as the Old Testament veil of the 
saving thoughts of God, and only the more general 
root-thought, that, even in his dispersion among the 
peoples of the earth, Israel will preserve his distinctive 
existence in view of his final destiny, and, when the 
times of the world - peoples are fulfilled, will, as a 
people, obey the call of the gospel and reassume his 
central position in the Divine Kingdom, is firmly 
retained as a prophecy that still awaits its fulfil- 

1 Cp. pp. 213 S. 

New TestamerU Fulfilment 251 

ment.^ It is believed that we are compelled to regard 
this general root-thought as an element essential to the 
content of prophecy, partly by the fact that even in 
his dispersion Israel retains to this day a separate 
national existence,^ partly by the testimony of the 
New Testament. The objections we have urged above 
lose their force against this modification of the view iu 
question, and the line of argument used to support it. 
The only question is, has it really the witness of the 
New Testament on its side ? For answer we address 
ourselves to the positive exhibition of the true state 
of the case. 

Old Testament prophecy certainly does not recognise 
more than " a temporary rejection of Israel — one, too, 
that falls out in such a way that Israel does not 
perish as a people, but is preserved for his future 
home-bringing."^ To appreciate properly the signifi- 
cance ' of this fact, there are two things of which we 
must not fail to take account. For one thing — the 
above proposition notwithstanding — ^the promises of 
the prophets do not avail for the nation of Israel as 
such. They do not belong to Israel-according-to-the- 
fiesh, but they concern him only in so far as he is 

'So, e.g.f Oehler in the art ''Weissagung*' in Herzog's Beal- 
Enqfldopddie, pp. 658 f. 

^ ''The miracle of Israel's preservation to this honr, while all the 
other nationalities of antiquity have been annihilated, or at least trans- 
formed beyond possibility of recognition through the admixture of 
foreign blood, — this double wonder, seeing that the other peoples re- 
mained in their settlements, while Israel was dispersed over the whole 
world, is the grand commentary of history on revelation." — Aubeklek, 
Dtr Prophet Daniel^ p. 892. 

' Words of Oehlbr in Uk. eit. 

252 The Bdation of Messianic Prophecy to 

really the chosen peculiar people of Jehovah ; hence 
the prophecy of the sifting and purification of the 
people by the Divine judgments, and of the remnant 
preserved amid these judgments, out of which will 
emerge a renewed people of God. It is only in conse- 
quence of the Divine judgments, partly by extirpation 
of the obstinate evil-doers, partly by the conversion of 
the others and the general outpouring of the Spirit, 
that entire Israel becomes the true people of God, 
whose pait it is to hope for the fulfilment of the promises. 
— And along with this it has to be remembered, 
secondly, that in the prophetic consciousness the pre- 
servation or, as the case may be, the restoration in 
general of a people and kingdom of God on earth, was 
indiBSolubly bound up with the continued existence of 
the people Israel, And be/ore the time was fulfilled^ 
and under the proviso that the saving work of God, 
begun in the election of Israel, should not be frus- 
trated or require to be begun entirely afresh through 
Israel's own unfaithfulness, the relation thus assumed 
by the prophets to obtain between Israel and the 
Kingdom of God was actually in conformity with the 
facts. Undoubtedly, however, the main thing with 
the prophets, when they hold out the prospect of the 
future redemption of Israel from the power of the 
heathen, and the restoration of the Israelitish State, is 
the preservation of the people and kingdom of God 
upon earth, even although they do not consciously dis- 
tinguish the wider from the narrower issue. — Whence 
it is at once apparent that it does not at all correspond 

New Testament FtdJUment. 253 

with the real Bentiments of the prophets to represent the 
promises, made through them to Israel as Jehovah's 
peculiar people, as available for converted Israel as a 
nation, in contradistinction and opposition to a people 
of God gathered meanwhile from among Israel and the 

Now, the promises in pre-£xilian and Exilian pro* 
phecy of the deliverance of Israel from Assjnian and 
Babylonian captivity, of his return and gathering into 
the holy land, of the rebuilding of Jerusalem and 
the temple, and the reconstruction of the shattered 
theocracy, were notoriously fulfilled upon Israel as a 
people in the times of Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. 
Consequently they disappear from the contents of post- 
Exilian prophecy, which in but one other instance — 
that of Zech. 8. 7 f.^ — announces freedom and home- 
bringing for those who were even then still captive in 
East and West, ie. in all lands. This times-fulfilment 
fell certainly far short of the ideal delineations of the 
restoration of the theocracy projected by prophecy, 
and that, on a just reckoning, only partly in conse- 
quence of the fact that Israel had not yet turned to 
his God with his whole heart. For to the prophetic 
consciousness this restoration presented itself as at the 
same time the ultimate accomplishment of the King- 
dom. In particular, there remained yet unfulfilled 
the prophecy, first announced with fall clearness by 

^ It would be to mistake the apocalyptic mode of preaentation^ 
already preyalent in the night-visioiis of Zechariah, to adduce in thi^ 
connection the passage Zech. 2. 10 ff. 

254 The Bdation of Messianic Prophecy to 

Deutero-Isaiah, that God's intention in the election of 
Israel should now reach accomplishment ; that Israel 
as the servant of Jehovah should, through fulfilment 
of his prophetic and priestly calling, accomplish upon 
aU peoples God's saving purpose regarding humanity, 
and himself participate in that glory, at once royal and 
priestly, destined for him. This contrast between the 
times-fulfilment and the much more glorious content 
of the prophecy — constituting for the author of the 
Book of Daniel a problem which is solved, not by his 
own reflection, but by Divine revelation ^ — indicated 
that the redemption of Israel from the power of the 
Chaldeans and the restoration of the theocracy was 
to be regarded only as the beginning of the fulfilment 
of prophecy, and that the people of God had still to 
await its full fulfilment, and so there was assigned 
to post-Exilian prophecy the task of preserving alive 
in these doleful times the confident hope of the im- 
pending accomplishment of the kingdom of God. 

And this hope was not put to shame. For in the 
very fact that, in the last centuries before Christ, 
Israel exercised unmistakably, through the medium 
of Alexandrian Judaism and the translation of the 
documentary sources of revelation into the language 
then spoken by the entire civilised world,^ a purifying 
influence upon the religious conceptions of Greeks and 
Bomans, and led many seeking souls among the 
heathen to the knowledge and worship of the true God, 
we have to recognise a further preparatory step on the 

^ Dan. 9. ' /.e. in the Septuagint. 


New Testament Fulfilment. 253 

road towards the fulfilment of the prophecies of Deutero- 
Isaiah. — But it was only when the time was fulfilled 
that the promise given to Israel as the people of God 
was fulfilled, even in that portion of its contents which 
related to the accomplishment of the Kingdom. Sal- 
vation was " of the Jews." * Christ and His apostles 
were of the nation of Israel. The lost sheep of the 
house of Israel constituted the appointed sphere of 
Christ's personal ministry. His salvation was offered 
in the first instance to the Jews. Children of Israel 
formed the nucleus of the community of Jesus Christ, 
and were the first recipients of the gift of the Holy 
Spirit, and the heralds of the gospel as well for the 
(xentiles as for their own dispersed brethren. Thus 
the prophecy relating to the accomplishment of the 
Kingdom fulfilled itself, as one given to the nation of 
Israel. The facts of Christ's membership in that nation 
and of the organico-historical connexion of His Church 
with Jehovah's chosen peculiar people, add the seal of 
historical fulfilment to the announcement of the pro- 
phets that, conformably with the counsel of God, the 
promise of the Messianic salvation belonged to Israel 
as a people. The election of Israel and the conception 
of his central position in the Kingdom of God, which 
pervades the entire scheme of Old Testament prophecy, 
as well as the prophecy of his mediatorial mission as the 
bearer of saving revelation among the nations, received 
in this way their rights in the New Testament fulfilment. 
But aU Israel did not — the people as a people did 

1 John 4. 22. 

256 The RdcUion of Mmianic Prophecy to 

not — participate in the salvation offered to them ; only 
a remnant — only a select company — did, while the 
remainder, in impenitent obduracy, rejected salvation 
in the Crucified and Risen One.^ Hence the Divine 
judgment of rejection went forth against Israel as a 
people, and, as had been already announced by the 
Lord Himself, the Kingdom of God was given to the 
Gentiles. The people of God continued to exist, not, 
however, in Israel as a nation, but in the New Testa- 
ment community, which was composed of the " rem- 
nant" of Israel and of believers from among the 
Gentiles, received into the Kingdom of Christ as citizens 
and members of the household of faith. Elements, 
thus, that in the prophetic consciousness appear as 
indissolubly united — the conception of Israel as a 
nation and the idea of the people of God — are separ- 
ated in the historical fulfilment. Side by side with 
Israel as a nation that, for the present world-era at 
least, has ceased to be the people of God and the 
trustee of the Divine revelation of salvation, there 
stands a people of God that, as regards its first mem- 
bers, proceeded from Israel (so fulfilling the prophetic 
oracle of the renewal from the " remnant "), but yet 
owed its existence chiefly to the accession of believers 
from among the Gentiles. Who, then, are the rightful 
heirs of the promises made to the covenant people of 
the Old Testament, so far as these promises are yet 
unfulfilled ? For that they remain unfulfilled so long 
as the Kingdom of Christ does not embrace all peoples^, 

^ Cp. Rom. 11. 1-10. 

New Testament Fulfihient, 257 

and so long as the gloiy of the Chnrch of Christ fails 
of accomplishment ot visible presentation, is undeniably 
certain. — Manifestly, the present rejection of Israel 
cannot be put on the same level with the earlier tem- 
porary repudiations in the times when the continuance 
of the kingdom and people of Ood on earth was still 
entirely dependent upon the continuance of the Israel- 
itish nation. To apply the prophecies relating to these 
earlier repudiations baldly to the present rejection of 
Israel, is to ignore one of the most prominent facts of 
historical fulfilment, and the clue it supplies to a 
proper estimate of the Divine prophetic word ; and it 
is, as we have seen, impossible to do justice to the 
sense actually ' attached to their utterances by the 
prophets themselves, unless we regard the New Testa- 
ment people of God, and not the nation of Israel, as 
the heirs of the still unfulfilled promises given to the 
covenant-people of the Old Testament In the light 
shed upon prophecy by the history of fulfilment, the 
New Testament people of God appears as its alone 
rightf al heir. Of Israel, however, it has to be said : 
The fact that in him salvation has been prepared for 
the whole of humanity, proves the accomplishment of 
the object of his election, the fulfilment, once for all, 
of his vocation, as the historical bearer of revelation 
and salvation. Henceforth he participates in the 
p^mises given to the people of God only in so far as, 
and to the extent to which, he has entered or is enter- 
ing the Church of Christ ; and his participation is of 

precisely the same kind, and subject to the same con- 


258 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

ditions, with Gentile believers ; i.e. individual Israelites 
have part in the promises in so far as they become by 
faith members of the New Testament people of God, 
but they have no preference before other members. 
On the other hand, Israel's slighting as a nation of the 
day of his visitation, and his rejection of his Messias, 
have deprived him of all historical function as regards 
salvation and the Kingdom ; and the promises of the 
prophets do not offer him any prospective restoration 
of his national distinctiveness, any central position in 
the Kingdom of God, any imperial glory, destined for 
him as a nation and to be enjoyed in his own land. 

As against the objection that, in the Old Testament 
at least, Israel's election is represented as of eternal 
validity, it has to be remembered, first, that the Israel- 
itish descent of Jesus Christ, and the rise of the 
Christian Church from the bosom of Israel, lend an 
eternal and far-reaching importance to the fact of 
Israel's election. The case is an exact parallel to that 
of the election of the house of David, of which the Old 
Testament speaks in similar terms, and which, in 
Christ's birth as the son of David, proves itself to have 
happened once for all. But, secondly, in reference to 
the rejection of Israel as a nation, it has to be main- 
tained that in the Divine word of the Old Testament 
there is an adh-oldm (for ever) that is meant only 
relatively,^ and another which the Old Testament 
writers mean to be taken absolutely, but which, in the 
further course of the history of salvation, is lowered to 

1 Cp. e,g, Isa. 32. 14. 

New Testament FulJUmeiit, 259 

a position of relative validity, i.e, reveals itself as, in 
God's decree, meant only relatively. Such is the case 
with the eternal priesthood of the house of Aaron and 
its annexed eternal prerogatives;^ with the eternal 
election of Jerus£Jem as Jehovah's dwelling-place; 
with the election for ever of the nation of Israel. 
The faithful covenant -God retains this election in 
validity up to the moment of His people's attaining, 
under His conduct, their predestined goal as implied 
in that election; hut the "election for ever" can 
never, after the attainment of this goal, confine the 
reference of the further execution of His saving pur- 
pose to a people who, through their rejection of the 
offered salvation, have become incapable of serving as 
the*- human organ of its dissemination, and in whose 
stead' He has prepared Himself another organ in the 
New Testament people of God. 

This view of the case is supported by tlie testimony 
of the New Testament, Undoubtedly the latter asserts 
throughout that the promises of God were given in 
the first instance to the people of Israel, and that 
therefore their fulfilment also, the salvation in Christ, 
must be offered, and in the truth and faithfulness of 
God was offered, in the first instance to Israel, while 
the offer to the Gentiles, to whom God had given no 
covenant-promises, resulted from pure mercy.* The 
same is notoriously asserted both in word and deed by 

* Cp. e.g. Ex. 40. 15, Num. 18. 19, 26. 13 ; also Jcr. 33. 18 ff. 
' Cp. the contrast between the hyph' aletheltu UteoH and the hyp^r 
tUouB (for the sake of God's trvih^ . . . mtrcy) in Rom. 15. 8 f. 

260 The Rdatwn of Messianic Prophecy to 

the apostle of the circumcision^ as well as by the 
apostle of the Gentiles.' But both are equally unani- 
mous in the opinion that, since the origin of the 
community of Jesus Christ, it is no longer Israel as a 
nation, but this community gathered from him and 
from the Gentiles, who compose the chosen, holy, 
priestly, peculiar people of God.' They are the true 
Israel of God,^ the true seed of Abraham,* and hence 
the promises given to the Old Testament covenant- 
people are considered as available for them and as 
fulfilling themselves in them.* That within the New 
Testament community a Jewish or a Gentile origin 
makes no sort of difference as regards participation in 
the salvation offered in Christ and the conditions 
annexed to participation, that much rather those who 
were formerly heathen are fully qualified fellow- 
citizens with the saints, and fellow-heirs of the promises 
given to the seed of Abraham, is often enough expressly 
taught by the Apostle PauL^ It is precisely in this 
perfect equalising of Gentile and Jew in the Kingdom 
of Christ on the ground of the immediacy of the 
former's relation to Christ and to God, and of his 

* Cp. t.g. Acts 2. 39, 8. 25 f. 

3 Cp. t,g» Acts 13. 46, Rom. 1. 16, 8. 1 f. 

» Cp. 1 Pet 2. 9 f., Rom. 9. 24 ff., 2 Cor. 6. 16, Tit. 2. 14. Even 
AuBSHLEN cannot, of course, deny this ; but he is of opinion that the 
case stands thus only ''in the present world-era, in which Israel is 
rejected" {Ahhandlung, p. 808). ' 

* Gal. 6. 16, Rom. 9. 6 ff, 

^ Rom. 4. 16 ff., Gal. 8. 7. 29, 4. 28. 

« Cp. the citations from Rom. 9. 25 f., 2 Cor. 6. 2. 16-18, Gal. 4. 27. 
7 Cp. Rom. 3. 29 f., 10. 12, 1 Cor. 12. 13, Gal. 3. 28 f., 6. 15, Eph. 
2. 11-22, Col. 3. 11. 

New TestamerU Fulfilment 261 

participation in salvation and the promises, tww that 
the hitherto prevaieTit ethnico-Israelitish character of the 
Theocracy was entirely removed, that the Ti^tc' apprehension 
regarding the calling of the Gentiles into the Kingdom 
of Christ consists — of which the Apostle Paul says, 
that it was not made known to the former generations 
(Eph. 3. 5), inasmuch as, up to this time, the entrance 
of the Gentiles into the kingdom of God appeared 
always more or less as an entrance, at the same time, 
into the national communion of Israel, and their 
participation in salvation seemed to be mediated by 
its true recipient, Israeli — With these unambiguous 
testimonies of the New Testament no sort of media- 
torial priestly position of converted Israel is at all 
reconcilable. On the other hand, we have not found in 
them, as yet, any absolute exclusion of the possibility 
of Israel's taking, in spite of the equalisation above 
referred to, as a nation the foremost place in the 
oiganism of the perfected Kingdom of Christ In this 
connexion, and not without reason, the relation between 
Jew and Gentile has been compared with that between 
man and wife.^ But the New Testament would, in 
that case, necessarily require to attest this preference, 
still in store for the Jewish nation, with the same 
clearness and freedom from ambiguity with which it 
attests the perfect equalising of Jew and Gentile. 
We should expect such a testimony preeminently in 

' Only in laa. 19. 19 ff., and possibly also Zoph. 2. 11, this limit to 
the prophetic apprehension of the entrance of the Gentiles into the 
kingdom of God is to some extent broken through. 

* Cp. AUBXRLBN, Der Prophet Daniel, pp. 390 f. 

262 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

the Apocalypse, the prophetic book of the New Testa- 
ment But just here we look for it in vain. This 
book tells indeed of 144,000 servants of God, chosen 
from the twelve tribes of Israel, who, preserved in the 
impending judgments, shall enter the glorified kingdom 
as conquerors, as distinguished from the innumerable 
company of those who have " overcome " from among 
all peoples of the earth ; ^ but in the delineation of the 
last stages in the development of the Kingdom, as it 
hastens to its accomplishment, particularly in the 
announcement of the Millennial kingdom, no account 
whatever is taken of the difference between Israel and 
the heathen, nor is there, in general, any mention of 
converted Israel, albeit the names of the twelve tribes 
— as also that of Jerusalem — and many features of 
the prophecies, which treat of Israel's imperial glory, 
are employed in the description of the Kingdom of 
Christ in its perfected heavenly form. The assertion, 
that the gap of the Apocalypse is to he filled up from 
Old Testament prophecy, has in reality only the worth 
of an acknowledgment of this state of the case.* The 

1 Rev. 7. 4 ff. 

^ HoFMANN in he. cit. p. 656. Auberlen, Dtr Prophet Daniel, 
1st od. pp. 341 f. The attempts to explain this remarkable silence of 
the Apocalypse are as unsatisfactory as possible. Very naive is the 
following, inter alia, remark of Auberlen's : " The Apocalypse was 
intended for the Gentile Christian perio<l ; its design is to communicate 
to the New Testament community, gathered as it was chiefly from 
the Gentiles, what is necessary for it to know in its pilgrimage through 
the desert ; it is its guide-book ; it has to describe its fortunes. In 
view of this limited design no special account can l>e taken of Israel 
OS a nation." As if it were not of the greatest consequence for the 
Gentile Church to know that she may expect the full blessing of 

New Testament Fulfilment 263 

facts themselves convey the decisive proof that the 
seer in the Apocalypse, who surely had some skill in 
the " realism " of Scripture, and helieved in the fulfil- 
ment of the promises of the faithful covenant God, 
could not have understood Old Testament prophecy as 
placing in prospect a fact of such importance to the 
history of the Kingdom as the reinstatement of the 
nation of Israel in its central position in that Kingdom. 
— It is alleged, however, that the apostle of the Gentiles 
gives us precisely what is lacking in the ApocalyQpe. 
And certainly, in the passage referred to, the apostle 
does announce in the most definite manner that Israel's 
obduracy will last only until the full number of the 
Gentiles have entered the Church of Christ, and that 
then all Israel will be converted and saved. Here 
then we have a hopeful prophecy for the still im- 
penitent totality of Israel — a prophecy, moreover, 
which is supported and confirmed by an appeal to a 
promise of full forgiveness, given to the Old Testament 

communion with God, and the true spiritual revival only after the 
conversion and restoration of Israel as a people ! In the 2nd ed. p. 385 
this passage is omitted, and the whole stress is laid upon the 144,000 
of Rev. 7. 4 ff. (vid, sup,) and upon "the grand general confirmation 
of all Old Testament prophecy "in Rev. 10. 7. But this ** general 
confirmation " wUl have, we should suppose, to be understood in the 
sense which the succeeding prophecy of the Apocalypse itself naturally 

^ In Rom. 11. 25 ff., cp. ver. 15. We omit utterances of Christ such 
as Matt. 19. 28, 23. 39, 24. 34, which have been used to support the 
same position, as a candid exegesis altogether fails to show that they 
contain a prophecy of a future national restoration of Israel. Cp. on 
them Bleek, SynoptUche ErkUirung dtr drti ersten Eixtngelien, ii. 
pp. 272 and 382. 

264 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

covenant people/ as well as by the fact that, with 
reference to Israel's election, the Jews- are "beloved 
for their fathers' sake," for the " gifts and calling of 
God" {i.€. His calling to salvation) "are without 
repentance." Thus in fact, according to the testimony 
of the apostle, Israel's election and the promise given 
to him remain in force even for the people who are 
at present rejected ; the Israelites have not forfeited 
for ever their natural rights as the next heirs to a 
Kingdom of God founded amongst them and for them ; 
in the end they also will have their part in it. Still, 
let us beware of introducing into the text what is 
really not there. The apostle certainly speaks of 
Israel's totality, but the expression pds Israel (all 
Israel) by no means necessarily implies the giving of 
any special prominence to the Israelitish nationality, 
as an organism confined within itself, compact in the 
unity of a state, and thus asserting its national idio- 
syncrasy. Further, the apostle certainly speaks of 
Israel's reinstatement in the Kingdom of G^d, of their 
rescue, of their renewed pardon, but we read nothing 
of an historical mission of salvation which Israel is 
then to fulfil, or of a central position which he shall 
occupy in the Kingdom of God, or of a special imperial 
glory with which he shall be invested ; nor is there 
one word of his being gathered into the Holy Land, 
or of the restitution of an Israelitish kingdom.^ 

1 Isa. 59. 20 f. ; cp. 27. 9. 

^ That Paul promises repentant Israel yet another missionaiy function 
in the history of salvation, is sought to be proved, partly from the ex- 
pression charismata (gifts), ver. 29, partly from the words iU hiprdtiUp^U 

N&(JO Testament Fulfilment . 265 

In this reference, its full weight should be allowed 
to the fact, that, of the promises given to Israel, the 
apostle chooses for citation just one of those which 
offer Israel the prospect of forgiveness and restored 
favour, but not of special glory. To whom, it might 
be asked, moreover, would Israel fulfil his alleged 
further prophetic and priestly calling in the way 
promised in Old Testament prophecy? Does not 
the apostle expressly place his conversion and re- 
acceptance in the time when the fiiU numher of the 
Gentiles have already entered the Kingdom of Ood!^ 
So far, indeed, from being aware of any saving 
mediatorial mission, which converted Israel should 
have to fulfil towards the Gentiles, he regards, on 
the contrary, the rich revelation of the Divine mercy 

eimitoeek nekren (*' what the receiving of them/' etc.), vet, 15. The 
former expression, however, cannot in the context in which it occurs 
denote special gitU of grace imparted to Israel /or the fulfilment of his 
calling^ bnt only the blessings of salvation which belong to the Kingdom 
of God. {CharUmata, as in Bom. 5. 15 f. 6. 23 ; it can hardly be trans- 
lated "exhibitions of grace," as the LXX. never renders the Hebrew 
ch&jfddhim — which is used in this sense — by charismata, but by td elee 
(compassions) or the like. ) And the latter expression (the tU hi, etc. , ver. 
15)— however we choose to understand the zo^ eh nekrdn (on which see 
Met£B)— does not, at any rate, imply that life from the dead is to 
proceed from Israel, in virtue of his exercising a mediatorial function 
in reference to salvation, but only that the conversion and reacceptance 
of Israel must precede the accomplishment of salvation. 

^ Opposed to this is the view given in Aubb&len's sketch of the 
consequences of Israel's restitution : '^ There is no longer any need 
of a toilsome pursuit of the Gentiles, they come in of themselves, 
attracted by the sight of the rich gifts of the Divine revelation of 
grace " {Der Prophet DanUl, p. 402). And : '* Israel is to be a 
kingdom of priests, bringing salvation to all peoples" {AbhandL 
p. 885). 

266 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

to the Gentiles as the first means by which Israel is 
led to repentance with a view to participation in 
the same mercy .^ Obviously, thus, the prospect of 
restoration offered to Israel is only one of those 
promises to which the saying is applicable: "The 
first shall be last"^ As is perfectly apparent from 
Kom. 11. 32, it hangs together with the prophecy — 
once and again repeated by Paul — of the ultimate 
unqualified universality of the possession of salvation, 
account being taken, however, of the fact that, in 
Israel's case, the common hope has special supports in 
his election and the promises committed to him. 
Israel's election and the promises given to him 
remain thus in force for the people, who have been 
rejected because of their obduracy, just so far as they 
guarantee that Israel has not been cast away for ever, 
has not forfeited irrecoverably the salvation in Christ, 
but will eventually have his own share in it. On the 
other hand, no special preference is promised even in 
Rom. 11 to converted Israel above Gentile believers.' 

* Rom. 11. 31, cp. vv. 11 and 14. 

'Cp. Bkktheau in loc, eU. (1859) p. 325: *'In tlie few passages 
[of the New Testament] which aUow us to glance at Israers fatnre, 
}ie does not appear as a triumphant first-fruits among the peoples who 
participate in the bliss of the Divine Kingdom, bat as one bom late, 
who yet, by God's grace, is allowed a share in the beatification." 

' The fact of the national continuity of Israel in bis dispersion 
cannot, in these circumstances, prove that some further historical 
mission for the Kingdom of God is in store for that nation. We do 
not need to ask here the historical reason and ground of this 
continuity, or to enter upon the question, how long it may yet be 
expected to last. Suffice it to say, that Rom. 11, along with other 
New Testament passages, shows the facts in a different light by 

New Testament Fulfilment. 267 

The clearest and weightiest attestation of the above 
ai^ument on the relation of Israel as a nation to the 
New Testament Theocracy (pp. 256 fit), is that ofiFered 
by the Gospel of John. — ^For this Gospel is wholly 
dominated by the view that, because of their slighting 
the Messianic salvation manifested in Christ, the 
•Fews, as a nation, have ceased to be the people of 
God, have become, on the contrary, the type of the 
God-estranged world, and that their place is occupied 
by a community compacted without regard to the 
nationality of its members — that, viz., of those who 
have become children of God through Christ.* — The 
New Testament thus both sanctions and demands our 
distinguishing, in the prophetic oracle of the future 
imperial glory of Israel in his own land, between the 
Old Testament mode of presentation and the eternal 
saving thoughts of God. The Israelitish descent of 
the Saviour of the world, the organico - historic 
connexion of the New Testament people of God 
with Israel, the conservation of Israel's priority of 
claim to the promised salvation, serve as the historical 
fulfilment of this oracle, and attest it as one in 
harmony with the purpose of God. In so far, how- 
ever, as it remains yet unfulfilled, it must, regarded in 

representing the Jewish nation as affording, first of all, by its rejec- 
tion of salvation in Christ, an example of Divine judgment, but, 
ultimately, an all the more brilliant example of His mercy and 

* Cp. A. H. Fkakke, Doh Alte Testament bei Johannes, 1885, pp. 
17 ff., 243 ff., and my i-emarks in the Studien und Kritiktn, 1885 
pp. 566 ff. 

268 Tlie Bdation of Messianic Prophecy to 

the light of the New Covenant and the New Testa- 
ment word of God, be assigned, Uke other prophecies, 
to the realm of the typico-Messianic. It is in harmony 
with the Divine intention, in the scheme of historical 
revelation, that all the utterances of prophecy, which 
in their historical sense speak of the imperial glory 
of Israel in the last times, should be referred to 
the future glorious manifestation of the Church of 
Christ, the New Testament people of God; and the 
fact that prophecy assigns the prospect of this glory 
to Israel, is only an Old Testament veil of the Divine 
saving thoughts.^ 

A view, largely supported in modem times (though 
by no mcams solidly founded),^ to the effect that the 
Davidic descent of Christ cannot be maintained from 
the standpoint of a critical examination of the 
evangelic history, suggests at once the question, 
whether the Davidic descent of the Messias is not one 
of those Old Testament envisaging forms by which 
prophecy abides, but to which New Testament ful- 
filment warrants us in assigning only a typico- 

' In spite, therefore, of its nnhistorical character, the old, churchly 
view of these prophecies, which Henostenbero revived (particularly 
in his paper, " Die Juden und die christliche Kirche,*' Evaiig, 
Kirchenzeitungj May 1857), is essentially correct as regards its main 
result, and is vastly preferable to the Judaisiug view we have lieeu 
discussing. The remark of Eell is much to the point : " Through 
Chriat the promise is exalted from its times-form to its essence, through 
Him the whole earth becomes Canaan" {Oenesis, p. 146, 2nd ed.)- 
Cp. also the detailed discussion of the whole question in the same 
author's Commentary on Ezek. pp. 347 ff. and 497 ff. 

' The verdict even of Eeim, Oeschichte Jesu von Nazara, i. pp. 
826 ff. [£ng. Transl. vol. ii pp. 25 ff.]. 

New Testament Fulfilment. 269 

symbolical significance. In the attempt to answer 
this question affirmatively reference might be made 
to the disentanglement of ' the Messianic prospects 
from the Davidic kingship, and the appropriation to 
the people of God of the promises of grace, given to 
David, which we find in Deutero-Isaiah, as well as 
to the fact that in Daniel the Messias is not character- 
ised as the son of David ; and these facts might be 
thoaght to imply a favourable witness from the Old 
Testament itself to the conclusion sought to be 
established.^ The previous course of our argument, 
however, carries with it both the fact and the reason 
of a negative answer. The Davidic descent of the 
Messias is on the same footing with the requirement 
that salvation should come from the Jews. It was 
the fulfilment required to do justice to the election 
of a royal Davidic house, and to the promises given 
to it, on which the truth and faithfulness of God were 
staked. — On the other hand, there are certainly other 
more isolated features in the Messianic prophecies in 
whose case the essence of the prophecy is exhibited 
in severance from its temporary mode of presentation 
only in the fulfilment In this connexion Malachi's 
prophecy deserves special mention, that the prophet 
Elias will, as preparer of the way, precede a God who 
is coming for judgment and the accomplishment of 
salvation.^ For the pi*ophet can hardly have called 
the preparer of the way Elias merely in a sense 
parallel to that of the name David (ie. a second David), 

» Cp. pp. 191 if. ' Mai. 4. 5 f. ; cp. 8. 1. 


270 The EelcUion of Messianic Prophecy to 

as baldly applied to the Messias ; ^ the expectation, 
rather, of the personal return of Elias, who Iwd Twt 
died, btU had been withdravm to Jieaven, — ^an expecta- 
tion widely diffused even in the time of Christ, and 
prevalent among Jews, Mohammedans, and Christians, 
(till the Beformatiou), — appears to be in entire 
accordance with the meaning of the prophet. That, 
however, this prophecy was fulfilled in John the 
Baptist, is notoriously attested, not only by the evan- 
gelists, whose report of the appearance and preaching 
of John carefully emphasises his resemblance to 
Elias, but also by the Lord Himself, in repeated 
expressions.* Here also, in the light of the New Testa- 
ment fulfilment, the essential ideal substance of the 
prophecy is separated from the typico-symbolical envis- 
aging form in which it was realised in the consciousness 
of the prophet. In His significant ei tlUlete dexasthai^ 
Matt. 11. 14, Christ Himself draws attention to the 
contrast between the interpretation of prophecy that 
is captive to its literal historical sense, and that 
understanding which grasps its essential substance, and 
hence does not fail to mark a fulfilment already past,^ 

> Hos. 3. 5, Jer. 80. 9, Ezek. 34. 23, 37. 24. 

" Matt 11. 14, 17. 10 ff. » ](fye wiU receive it. 

* It is remarkable that the advocates of the Judaising view of the 
prophecies of Israel's imperial glory have not included the personal 
return of Elias among their eschatological expectations (cp., however, 
HoFMANN in loc. cit. ii. p. 103) — the more that they would have on 
their side the view, prevalent in the Church till the Reformation, 
according to which the fulfilment in John the Baptist is only 
temporary, while the perfect fulfilment is to take place immediately 
before the Parousia. Christ, however, would certainly use His ei 
thihie d^asthai to point the contrast between the fulfilment of the 

New Testament Fulfilment 271 

4. The proof, however, of the incongruity between 
Old Testament prophecy and New Testament fulfil* 
ment, which results from the times - adapted and 
specifically Old Testament elements which prophecy 
contains, i,e. from its symbolico - typical character, 
gives by no means a complete view of the difference 
between the two factors at present under comparison. 
Besides this incongruity, there are other respects in 
which Messianic prophecy fails to exhibit any fvll 
apprehension of the Divine purpose which attains 
accomplishment in the New Covenant That purpose 
is fully revealed only in its actual carrying out. (hie 
main ground — though not the only one — of this 
imperfection lies in the fact that, by its method of 
starting at different times from different ideas, con- 
tained in the Old Testament religion and embodied in 
the Old Testament theocracy, and developing thence 
their several Messianic contents,^ prophecy succeeds in 
apprehending, under manifold combinations, only indi- 
vidual fragmentary moments of the saving purpose of God, 
unihout being able to exhibit them in the connexion in 
which, in the fulfilment, they are compacted iiUo a 
uniform whole. What the Apostle Paul says of New 
Testament prophecy: ek m^rous propheteHbomen? is 
true in a much greater measure of that of the Old 
Testament. The polumSrds of Heb. 1. 1 ' is very 

prophecies of IsroeVs imperial glory and mediatorial vocation in 
Himself and Hia commanity, and their confinement to their literal 
historical sense. 

1 Cp. pp. 176 ff. ' We prophesy in paH, 1 Cor. 13. 9. 

• In mani/ parts, cp. my Lehrhegriff den Ilefmierbrie/es, pp. 89 and 92. 

272 The Belatian of Messianic Prophecy to 

marked even in its Messianic prophecy.^ We shall 
endeavour — within the limits of our space — to 
exhibit, by a reference to the salient points, the 
extent to which a knowledge of the saving 
purpose of God, which is realised in the New 
Covenant, was already implied in Old Testament 
prophecy, and the extent to which the latter falls 
short of the sublimity and wealth of New Testament 

(a) The prophecy that comes nearest the New 
Testament, as regards apprehension of saving truth, is 
that concerning the Jirud condition of the people and 
kingdom of God, Although it is often, especially in 
the oldest prophecies, the external side of the Messianic 
salvation — which, however, is always regarded as the 
consequence and blessing of a perfected communion 
with God — that is made prominent, it happens, never- 
theless, not unfrequently that the spiritual salvation 
in which the people of God participate in the last days 
receives the chief place. In particular : the complete 
and xxniyeTBal forgiveness of sins, as the result of a new 
and all-sufficient exhibition of the pardoning grace of 
God, and the thorough ethico-religious renewal of hearts 
and of the entire public life, in consequence of the out- 
pouring of the Spirit of God upon all the members of 
the nation without exception, and of His indwelling 
in hearts, advance steadily with the development of 
Messianic prophecy to the position of the chief saving 

1 Cp. Oehler, art. " Weissagung " in Hekzoo's RecU-Eneyklopddie, 
xvii. p. 665. Theologif des AUtn Tentamenfts^ ii. § 216. 

New Testament FulJUmmt. 273 

benefits of the MessiaDic era.^ The covenant - com* 
munion of Israel with Jehovah culminates in an 
immediate personal communion of love "between all indi- 
viduals and Ood, Who then dwells suistantially and for 
ever in the midst of His people, reveals Himself in all 
the fulness of His glory and grace for all, and in the 
diffusion of salvation and blessing manifests His gracious 
presence in full measure ; Who also, in particular, by 
the mighty workings of His Spirit, immediately en- 
lightens and rules all individuals, making them His 
organs, adapted habitually to share His confidence and 
receive His revelations, so that only the extraordinary 
experiences of the Spirit's work and of revelation 
which occurred in the peculiar domain of prophecy, 
can serve to illustrate what will then be the common 
experience of all.* Then the people of God will 
become a people truly holy in all its members,^ a 
priestly people,* a congregation of the righteousj^ chil- 
dren of the living Godfi The law will no longer stand 
between God and His people in the form of civil 
statutes externally imposed ; but it will be written on 
the hearts of all by the Spirit, ie. every one will then 
bear within himself a clear living knowledge of the will 
of God, which will serve as a powerful inward impulse 

1 Cp. esp. Joel 2. 28 ff., Isa. 29. 18. 24, 30. 19 ff., 82. 3 f. 15, 38. 
24, Micah 7. 18 ff., Zech. 12. 10, 13. 1 fT., Jer. 3. 21 ff., 24. 7, 31. 
29 ff., 32. 39 f., 83. 8, 50. 20, Ezek. 11. 19 f., 16. 63, 36. 25 ff., 87. 
23, 39. 29, Isa. 44. 3. 

2 Cp. Joel 2. 28 ff., Ho8. 2. 18 ff., Jer. 31. 31 ff., Isa. 46. 7-10. 13, 
65. 24. 

3 Isa. 4. 3, 35. 8, Dan. 7. 18. 22. 27. * Isa. 61. 6, ^^. 21. 
*J8a. 60. 18. 21. • Hos. 1. 10. 

274 The Rdaiion of Messianic Prophecy to 

towards a godly life, and thus the New Covenant will 
be an eternal covenant, not exposed to any risk of 
dissolution through the people's unfaithfulness.^ This 
perfecting of covenant- communion involves a funda- 
mental alteration of the entire Old Testament ritual of 
worship — even of the entire Old Testament economy. 
The position and function of a special priesthood and 
prophecy^ as the mediators of salvation and revelation, 
the limitation of the gracious presence and revelation of 
Jehovah to the external sanctuary of the temple, and 
the external worship, consisting in the offering of animal- 
sacrifices, fall away as things that belong only to the 
present still imperfect form of covenant-communion.^ 
— In these deep glances — noticeable very specially 
in Jeremiah — into the essence of perfected communion 
with God, as regards its difference from what had 
previously prevailed, there is implied the further per- 
ception, that the Kiiagdcmi of God will no longer be first 
and foremost a politico-national theocracy, but pre- 
eminently a spiritual Kingdom, the communion of 
those who have communion with God. Elsewhere, 
however, it is chiefly depicted with reference, in addi- 
tion, to the external form which it will ultimately 
acquire as a Kingdom in which God Himself conducts 
the government in a far more perfect way than in the 
existing theocracy. It is then, as the people of God, 
holy, thoroughly purified of all that characterises, the 

1 Jer. 81. 31 ff., 32. 40. « Prophettntum. 

» Jer. 31,34, Isa. 54, 13, 61. 6, 66. 21.— Jer. 3. 16 f.— Hos, 14. 2, 
Isa. 56. 7. 

New Testament Fulfilment 275 

kingdoms of the world, all that it embraces is sub- 
ordinated to the holy will of Jehovah, and devoted to 
His service ;* in it will reign right and righteousness, 
truth and peace. Its holiness, further, will manifest 
itself externally in perfected glory,* and to the spiritual 
salvation of perfected communion with God there will 
correspond the richest fulness of earthly blessings, — a 
stream of blessing proceeding from a God who dwells 
in the midst of His people, fulfils all the longings and 
yearnings of the human heart, and gives life and full 
satisfaction.' — Those whom the law excludes from the 
community of Israel will also have part in the destined 
salvation.^ But especially it is decreed that all peoples 
shall have part in it, for they will be incorporated 
with the people of God, and the ELingdom of God will 
become a universal theocracy, extending itself over 
the whole earth.* For even Old Testament prophecy 
exhibits a clear perception of the Divine will that all 
should be saved and come to the knowledge of the 

> Zech. 14. 20 f. 

' The most minute, sublime, and brilliant delineations of this glory 
are those given by Deutero-Isaiah. Thus, e.g, , in illustrating the glory 
of the city of Ood he represents the roost precious and glittering 
things of earth — gold, silver, and the most beautiful ^learls — as em- 
ployed in its construction (Isa. 54. 11 f., 60. 17), while it is adorned 
with plantations of the loveliest trees (60. 18). 

* The earnest and symbol of this is the temple-spring, which becomes 
a stream abounding with water, and transforming the holy land into 
Paradise (Joel 4. 18, Zech. 14. 8, Ezek. 47. 1 If.). On the all-sufficiency 
of the God who is enthroneil in the midst of His people, cp. also Ira. 
60. 19 f. The city of God has no more need of sun or moon, for 
Jt'hovah is her eternal light. 

♦ Isa. 56. 8 C 'See pp. 205 ff. 

276 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

truth. The announcement that the Kingdom of 
God will take the place of the shattered kingdoms 
of the world, implies the view that its external 
perfection will be accomplished by a judicial cata- 
strophe.* — Finally, Old Testament prophecy is not 
without the idea of an ultimate removal of every 
evil that has entered the world through sin.^ It 
speaks of the restoration of the whole creation to 
more than its original perfection.* It tells of a new 
heaven and new earth which God will create;* and, 
in particular, of a future destruction of the dominion 
of death,* and a resurrection of the dead,* which, 
according to the prophecy in Daniel, will be twofold, 
— for some to everlasting life, for others to everlasting 
contempt,^ the final judgment being thus conceived 
as including the already deceased members of the 
people of God. 

If we attempt to realise all this in the wealth of 
manifold detail offered by the individual prophecies, 
we shall be forced to admit that the prophecy of the 
Old Covenant disclosed a prospect of the final condition 
of the kingdom and people of God which approximates 
to New Testament ad.surance. Still the distance between 
the two is considerable ; the difference, moreover, does 
not lie merely in the general superiority of the latter 
to the views of the prophets as regards the clearness 
and fulness of its knowledge of saving truth. We do 

> Dan. 2. 34. 44, 7. 14. 18. 22. 27. • Cp. €,g, lea. 33. 24. 

» Hob. 2. 18. 21 f., Isa. U. 6 ff. 30. 26, 65. 25. 

* Isa. 66. 17, 66. 22. « Isa. 25. 8. 

• Isa. 26. 19. • Daw. 12. 2 f. 

New Testament FulJUment. 277 

not seek to attach any special importance to individual 
points, as, e.g,y that the resurrection of the dead appears 
even in the Book of Daniel as confined to deceased 
Israelites, while in the entire range of the Old Testa- 
ment prophecy there is not a word of a general 
resurrection of the dead. Nor need we more than refer 
once again to the limitations of the prophets' appre* 
hensions of saving truth involved in the specifically 
Old Testament conceptions explained above. Just 
these limitations, however, hang together with another 
of a very essential kind — that, viz., implied in the fact 
that, in spite of Deutero-Isaiah's prophecy of the new 
heaven, only the this-side, only, i.e., the terrestrial world, 
appears as the sphere of the Kingdom of God erected 
for His people, and as the scene of the accomplished 
salvation. The curtain that concealed the other-side, 
i.e. the heavenly world, is not yet removed. That the 
Theocracy of the perfect time will, as a Kingdom of 
heaven, include the world beyond, and thus heaven 
also be opened to the people of God, is not prophesied. 
While, therefore, prophecy brings to light the ultimate 
glorified form of the Kingdom of Grod on earth, it fails 
to present the Jieavenly character of the Kingdom of 
Christ. Hence, in spite of the announcement of an 
abolished dominion of death and a resurrection of the 
dead, prophecy still fails to offer to the godly the 
comforting prospect of finding in death an entrance 
into the blessedness of perfected communion with God 
in heaven. The living hope, gifted to us through the 
resurrection of Jesus Christ, goes thus far beyond 

278 The BekUion of Messianic Prophecy to 

vhat is promised in the Messianic prophecy of the Old 

(6) Old Testament prophecy is not behindhand with 
the distinct testimony that Israel does not attain per- 
fect fellowship with God by liis own instrumentality 
or power, but that rather its establishment and, in 
general, the bringing about of the perfect state of the 
people and kingdom of God, are throughout God's very 
own work — the work of His free grace. He takes away 
the sins of His people, not because of their desert, but 
for His holy name and truth's sake,^ and He does so 
by devising, in place of the insufficient means of pro- 
pitiation provided in the Old Covenant, new and 
efTective ordinances for purification from sin.* By the 
outpouring of His Spirit He efiTects the repentant con- 
version,* the heart-renewal, the willing obedience, with 
one consent, of His commandments. In general, it is 
His judgment and His deed of redemption which eflfect 
the consummation. But in the carrying out of His 
saving purpose He does not refuse to employ mediating 
organs. And here foremost attention must be claimed 
for the Messias, with whose appearance Messianic pro- 
phecy associates, particularly in the Assyrian period, 

*Cp. Delitzsch, 7«akiA (3rd od. p. 668): "The Old Testament 
throughout fails to teach anything regarding a blessed beyond. Beyond 
this world lies Hades. The Old Testament betrays no knowledge of a 
heaven of blissful human beings. Only angels, not men, surround 
the heavenly throne of God," — propositions wholly applicable to the 
content of Old Testament prophecy, and Umitable only as regards 
Enoch and Elijah. 

* Ezek. 16. 33, 86. 81 f., Isa. 43. 25, 48. 9. 16. 

» Zech. 18. 1, Ezek. 36. 25. * Zech. 12. 10 ff. 

New Testament FtUfilment. 279 

the dawn of the perfect time. It is no Messias, 
appearing in lowliness and the form of a servant, who 
is announced. What undoubtedly is presupposed is 
that before the dawn of the Messianic time both the 
people and the royal house of David will have, through 
Divine judgment, experienced the utmost humiliation, 
and, accordingly, that in the Messias both, and especially 
the latter, will again be uplifted to glory. Hence 
in Isa. 11. 1 the Messias is a branch from the hewn 
stem of Jesse ; hence it is that in Micah 5. 2 he issues 
forth, like the first David, from the small, inconspicuous 
Bethlehem ; hence it is that, in Ezek. 17. 22 ff., he is 
an offshoot taken from the lofty cedar of the royal 
Davidic house, and planted anew, — an offshoot in which 
the latter renews its youth, and grows again a glorious 
cedar. He does not, moreover, like a worldy conqueror, 
lay the foundations of his power with the implements 
of martial prowess. Eather like the *aniyy6 Tah^veh 
(Jehovah's poor ones), he is meek and lowly, far 
removed from all self-exaltation and violence, riding, 
not upon a proud war-horse, but on the peaceable foal 
of an ass, a strong king of peace, only by the power 
of God mighty to help and save.^ Yet, for all this, 
the picture of the Messias is not that of the Son of 
Man, who had not where to lay His head ; Old Testa- 
ment prophecy invests him always rather, even in his 
lowly circumstances, with God-given kingly glory. 

On the other side, however, not even the delinea- 
tion of his glory comes up to the glory of the Messias 

^ Zech. 9. 9 ; cp. Oeuler, art ''Messias," pp. 417 f. 

280 Th^ Belatian of Messianic Prophecy to 

who has appeared in Jesus Christ He is represented 
as a human king, an offspring from the stem of Dayid, 
whose eminence is far above the position of all other 
men, and whose personality has about it something 
wonderful and mysterious Although it is nowhere 
indicated that he is to enter the world in an extra- 
ordinary and wonderful manner,* he yet, as the earthly 
representative of the Divine King, and His instrument 
in establishing His kingdom and exercising His govern- 
men, stands in an absolutely unique and intimate rela- 
tionship to God, Whose Spirit rests upon him as on no 
other, and Whose alniighty power, wisdom, righteous- 
ness, and helpful grace work through him in such full 
measure, that in and through his government God's 
great name, i.e. His revealed glory, is made known. In 
other words, God makes him the organ of His Self- 
revelation, just as elsewhere He uses the ''angel of 
Jehovah." Hence even the Divine designation *H 
ffibbor (God-hero) is one of the names ascribed to him ; ^ 
and hence also, even in a more general announcement 
applied to the house of David,' there occurs the expres- 
sion : "it shall be as God and the angel of Jehovah. 
before" the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Both in the 
Kingdom of God and in humanity the Messias assumes 
thus a central position,^ not only as their head, but 
also as the mediating organ whence proceed the judi- 
cial and saving operations and the Self-revelation of 

^ We cannot, with Tholuck (in he. cit. p. 170), regard Isa. 7. 14 as 
a directly Messianic prophecy. On Micah 5. 1, cp. p. 185. 
* Isa. 9. 6. ' Zech. 12. 8. * Isa. 11. 10. 

New Testament FuiJUiiiefiit 281 

the Divine King.^ In that late apocalyptic aftershoot 
of Old Testament prophecy, the Book of Daniel, finally, 
the eminence of the Messias above all other men, and 
his uniqae intimate relation to God, are emphasised 
still more strongly, for, without reference to his origin, 
he is described as one wearing a human form, and yet 
coming &ii the clouds of heaven — a phrase applied else- 
where to Jehovah Himself.* — And yet even this Old 
Testament picture of the Messias falls strikingly short 
of the Kew Testament God-Man;^ great as is the 
glory of the Messias, who mediates the revelation of 
the name of Jehovah, it is yet not the glory of the 
only-begotten Son of God ; the mystery that in the 
Messias the eternal Son of God should enter the world 
as man, to accomplish God's purpose of love, became 
actually manifest only when the time was fulfilled. — 
In Old Testament prophecy, however, there stands, 
side by side with the reference to the future Messias, a 
reference also to the final visible appearance of Jehovah 
Himself who conies to His people to judge, and to 
perfect salvation, taking up His abode for ever in their 
midst, and manifesting perfectly^ and to all visibly, 
His glory and grace.'* And this visible Self-revelatiou 

1 Pp. 179 ff., esp. pp. 182 ff. ' Dan. 7. 18 L See pp. 194 ff. 

* The difference would be less if it turned out that recent Christo- 
Ipgical representations, which hold to the conception of the God-Man, 
but drop the idea of the personal preezistence of the Son, were a suf- 
ficient expression of the New Testament view. The kinship of the 
latter to the Old Testament picture of the Messias — a kinship which, 
in yiew of the specifically Old Testament form of Monotheism, cannot 
be considered accidental — has not yet received proper attention. 

^ Op. pp. 201 f., and besides the passages there cited, the as yet kai 

282 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

of God is, according to Mai. 3. 1, one that is mediated 
by the angel of Jehovah, in whom is the name of God.^ 
But although thus this announcement approximates to 
the other, which depicts in the Messias a like personal 
organ of the Self-revelation of God, yet the two repre- 
sentations are nowhere resolved into each other ; ^ they 
stand, unmediated, side by side, a proof-instance of the 
ek TfUrous prophUeHomen (" we prophesy in part "). — A 
further proof of the same result lies in the fact that in 
not even a single instance does the Messias appear as 
the sole human organ of the saving operations of Jeho- 
vah, which effect the consummation. For, irrespective 
of the Messianic passages which speak of a plurality 
of successive Davidic kings, or of several' saviours, 
there stand alongside of the Messias, as trustees of a 
saving mediatorial function, Deutero-Isaiah's servant of 
God, i.e, the community of the Old Covenant, who, as 
the service staff of Jehovah, are entrusted with a pro- 
phetic commission to humanity and Zechariah's Mcssi- 

developed forms of the same prophecy in Joel 3. 21 and similar 
passages ; farther, in 2^ch. 9. 14, Isa. 4. 5 f., Zech. 14. 3 fT., and 
Isa. 24. 23. 

^ Ex. 23. 21. 

* Cp. Oehler, Prolegomena zur Theologie dea Alien TetUamentes^ 
pp. 67 f., and art. '* Messias " in Herzog*s Realencyklopddie, pp. 408 f. 
— Passages such as Ezek. 34, esp. ver. 24, cannot be adduced in proof of 
the contrary, as in them the Messias is placed beside God only as the 
organ through whom Jehovah Himself exercises His pastoral oversight 
of His flock, just as elsewhere God and the king are placed together 
(Prov. 24. 21, Hos. 3. 5, 1 Sam. 12. 3. 5, Ps. 2. 2). Such prophe- 
cies are therefore to be ranked only with the former of the two above 
classes ; they say nothing of a visible appearance of Jehovah Himself. 
On Dan. 10. 5 ff., see above, p. 196, footnote. 

» Obad. ver. 21. 

New Testament Fulfilment, 283 

anic high priest ; ^ so far as the function of executing 
the saving purpose of God relating to the final con- 
summation is not immediately ascribed to Jehovah 
Himself, it is divided among these agents. 

(c) This implies that the fragmentary character of 
the Messianic apprehensions of the prophets must 
appear to a great extent even in the representation of 
the Messianic work of salvation. The Messias is 
indeed represented as the mediator, from whom pro- 
ceed the Divine Messianic saving operations ; but this 
is so only in cases where these are considered as an 
exercise of royal ruling functions in and for the 
kingdom of God. Everywhere he appears only 
as king, and his saving Messianic work consists in 
the deliverance of the people* of God from the power 
of their enemies, the securing of the theocracy, the 
perfect vindication therein of right and righteousness, 
its extension over all peoples, the establishment upon 
earth of the eternal kingdom of peace. By his kingly 
rule the Kingdom of God becomes, what it is meant to 
be, a kingdom in which evil is abolished for ever, and 
none injures his neighbour ; a kingdom filled with the 
living apprehension of Jehovah, and therefore with 
righteousness and peace.* In short, tfie Messianic 
salvation is Tnediated hy him as regards all blessings 
which a/xrue to the people of God by a perfect represen- 
tation ' of the royal government, and a full vindication 
of the royal will of Jehovah. — On the other hand, Old 
Testament prophecy knows nothing of a prophetic 

' Pp. 199 f. « Pp. 183 ff. » Ut^bernfUimt, 

284 live Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

function of the Messias ; he indeed makes known the 
will of God, makes it known even to the nations, but 
not as a prophet, teaching, exhorting, comforting, but 
as a king, commanding, ordaining, judicially dis- 
criminating and deciding.^ — Just as little does Old 
Testament prophecy represent the Messias as, in a 
proper sense, a high priest. It speaks, indeed, of his 
enjoying a priestly nearness to Jehovah,* but only in 
illustration of the intimate relation of inward fellow- 
ship, in which he personally, as king, stands to God, 
not in the sense of ascribing to him the function 
of a priest, mediating salvation. It represents the 
high priest as a type of the Messias,^ conceiving the 
latter thus as a priest-king, but not again because 
he offers sacrifices in expiation of the people's sin, 
but only in so far as he is himself a person in the 
highest degree consecrated to God, and entitled to 
near access to Him, and in so far as he is the head 
and representative of a priestly people, purified from 
their sins and holy. Once more, it characterises the 
government of the Messianic theocracy as both a kingly 
and high-priestly, and yet a perfect unity ; but not by 
assigning the high-priestly function to the Messias, 
but by placing beside him on the throne a Messianic 
high priest, who, one with him in mind and spirit, 
shares the conduct of the government.* — We have, 
indeed, every reason to object to the assertion that 
the suffering and expiatory sacrifice of Jesus Christ 

1 Isa. 11. 10, Zech. 9. 10. = Jer. 30. 21. 

' Zech. chaps. 3 and 6. ^ Pp. 199 f. 

New Testament Fulfilment 285 

x^'ere not foretold by the prophets, as though in this 
matter there were no connexion at all between Old 
Testament prophecy and Kew Testament fulfilment; 
no one who considers the relation of the two other- 
wise than with absolute superficiality will stand for 
a moment to any such assertion. It is true, neverthe- 
less, that the prophecy of the Old Covenant does not 
know of a Mmias who suffers and dies : it is also true 
that it Tumhere ascribes to the Messias an official 
function of mediating the forgiveness ofs-ins, or effecting 
an ethico ' religious renewal of hearts} and that, in 
general, it does not represent perfected personal fellow- 
s/tip with Ood in love as mediated by him. On the 
other hand, however, it announces distinctly and 
definitely not only — as already remarked — that God 
will devise new and sufficient ordinances for expiating 
His people's sin,^ and will effect the renewal of hearts 
by His Spirit, but also that a mighty redemptive act 
of God the Saviour, an act, exhibiting in the most 
glorious way the superabundant grace of God for Israel 
and the whole world, will yield at once salvation and 

' The title of the Messias in Jer. 23. 6, Yahtveh tsidhkenu (Jehovah 
our righteousness), imports undoubtedly that Jehovah Himself will 
through the Messias, as His organ, put His people into a condition 
of perfected legal qualification {Hechtbesch^jfftnheit), and will by the 
same means grant them the privilege of an actual justification 
iOerechUtprechung), consisting of deliverance, salvation, and security. 
That what is meant by this, however, is the restoration by kingfy 
govemmerU of the legal constitution and well-being of the l^e of the 
people as a whole, is clear from what is said in ver. 6 of the work of the 
righteous branch of David. Hence it was possible, as in Jer. 33. 16, 
to apply the name to the capital, as representing the people of God. 

' Zech. 13. 1, Ezek. 36. 25. 

286 Tlie Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

consummation. It is true that in such predictions 
the prophets speak of the impending deliverance from 
the power of Assyria and Babylon, so that even here 
prophecy does not lose its symbolico-typical character. 
But this deliverance from the power of the world- 
kingdoms, and from an extremity of judgment, is at 
the same time a deliverance of the people'of God from 
(dl their distress ; just with it is connected the full 
forgiveness of sins, and by it also Israel is cured of 
his blindness and hardness of heart. By it God 
purchases His people anew to Himself for a possession; 
it marks the accomplishment of a second higher elec- 
tion — an event in which for the first time the promise: 
" I will be their God, and they shall be my people," 
attains full verification, in which, ix., the perfect 
fellowship with God of His people is for the first 
time established. Hence it is frequently compared 
with the first historical accomplishment of £he election, 
the deliverance of Israel from Egypt; and it is declared 
that it will put this event, constituting as it did for 
the Old Testament religion the foundation of cer- 
tainty regarding Israel's election, wholly into the 

But we have not yet exhausted the prophetic 
apprehension of salvation. For prophecy announces 
further a prophetic and priestly mediator of salvation^ 
through whom the saving purpose of God concerning 
Israel and humanity reaches accomplishment There 

*Cp. e,g. Isa. 10. 26, 11. 11. 16, chap. 12, Micab 7. 15,' many 
passages in Dentero-Isaiah, and esp. Jer. 16. 14 f., 23. 7 T. 

New Testament FalJUment. 287 

is the servant of God, as depicted to us by Deutero- 
Isaiah : how equipped for his work by the Spirit of 
Jehovah, in humility and silence, destroying nothing, 
but rather as a saviour, comforting and helping, in 
untiring patient endurance, and a hope that is strong 
in faith, amid reproach and persecution, and in faith- 
fulness even unto death, he fulfils his prophetic 
calling to attest God's truth, and to carry God's 
salvation even to the ends of the earth ; how, himself 
guiltless, he yet, as the representative of a people 
devoted to the wrath of God, takes upon himself the 
guilt of all in love and patient willingness to suffer, 
bears vicariously their chastisements, yields his life 
as a guilt - offering for their defections, and thus, by 
his vicarious punitive suffering, and by his inter- 
cession, secures the pardon and salvation of all ; how, 
finally, on this way of suffering and death he passes 
to unfading glory in the royal dominion appointed for 
him, and is owned by the whole world — a priestly 
mediator, to whom all owe salvation. It is deep 
insight, such as this, that prophecy displays into the 
saving purpose of God ; yet even here knowledge is 
but in part ; for the picture of this servant of God 
stands beside that other picture of the Divinely- 
powerful Messianic king without any mediating, 
unifying link; indeed, the prophet himself does not 
mean to depict a solitary individual entrusted with 
the functions of a mediator of salvation, he seeks 
rather to give, in the ideal personality of the servant 
of God, a unified and individual representation of the 

288 The RelcUian of Meatnanic Prophecy to 

trae congregation of God as the service -staff of 
Jehovah. Add to which that, ia the view of the 
prophet, the vicarious punitive suffering of the servant 
coincides, at least in part and in its beginnings, with 
the sufferings which Jehovah's servants have already 
endured in the Exile ; ^ and the deliverance from the 
Exile, and the return to the holy land, are the 
beginning at once of the glorification of the servant 
of God, and of the salvation mediated through Him 
to Israel,^ so that, even here, prophecy remains true 
to its symbolico-typical character. 

{d) Bring we, finally, together, in brief compass, the 
main features of the prophetic view of the conditions 
and historical course of the realisation of salvation, 
omitting, however, what has been alreculy expressly 
treated. According to the entire testimony of Old 
Testament prophecy, the Messianic salvation belongs, 
in the first instance, to Israel as the elect people of 
Jehovah's possession, and is extended to the heathen 
only through him. Israel can, however, participate in 
it only upon condition of his turning in penitence and 
faith unreservedly and with his whole heart to his 
God. Preceding, therefore, the saving redemptive act 
of God, which effects the consummation of the theocracy, 
is a judgment, and with that act itself a judgment is 
associated. All the prophets predict this judgment* 
day of Jehovah, and all agree in representing the 

' Pp. 214 f. 

^ Even Delitzsch gires repeated and emphatic prominence to the 
latter point in his exposition oflsa. 40-66; cp. e,g, his Commentai-y 
vn IsaUUi (Germ.), 3rd ed. p. 514. 

New Testament FulJUmmt, 289 

judgment as beginning with the people of God. The 
object of the judgment, as regards Israel, is just to 
effect this necessary preliminary of penitence and con- 
version. Frequently it is depicted how the judgment 
will humble Israel, leading him to perceive and peni- 
tently confess his guilt, giving him a distaste of the old 
ways of sin, and driving him in his extremity to seek 
his God. In particular, Micay — and, in further ex- 
position of his ideas, Deutero-Isaiah — describe in detail 
how the people of God, given over to the power of the 
Gentiles, penitently and willingly endure the judgment 
as well-deserved, maintaining, however, at the same 
time, an immovable faith and hope that the faithful 
covenant-God will lift up His people from their fall, 
and over against the scorn and mockery poured upon 
their trust in the God of their salvation, will bril- 
liantly justify them. Along with this, however, it is 
recognised that the object of the judgment, penitent 
shame for past defections and thorough conversion, 
will be fully attained only through the glorious exhibi- 
tion of the sin-forgiving redeeming grace of God, Such 
is the view even of Hosea,* but, in particular, of 
Ezekiel,* who knew from experience how little the 
refractory spirit of Israel had been broken by the stress 
of judgment, and therefore frequently emphasises the 
assertion that God accomplishes His gracious deed of 
redemption, in spite of Israel's undesert, solely for the 
honour of His holy name, and for His truth*s sake. 

1 Micah 7. 7 ff. » Hob. 2. 18 f., 3. 6, 6. 16—6. 3, U. 1. 8. 

» Ezek. 20. 38 flf., 16. 68, 36. 31 f. 


290 The Relation of Messianic PropTiecy to 

It is also the view of Deutero-Isaiah, who exhibits the 
redemptive deed in the same light, and throughout 
represents the full knowledge of the living God and 
only Saviour as its object and fruit — It is a further 
consequence of the same perception, that both the last- 
named prophets attest that only an impenitent irre- 
sponsiveness to the gracious deed of redemption, only 
the despising of the Messianic saving grace of God, carries 
with it the decisive jxidgment of annihilatio7i that is 
associated with the work of redemption.^ — In not a 
few prophecies, conversion appears as the first-fruit of 
the outpouring of the Spirit. So, e,g., Zech. 12. 10 ff. 
This remarkable prophecy determines, at the same time, 
more precisely the principal object of Israel's penitent 
mourning: his guilt culminates in the murder of a 
prophet, and so the penitence expresses itself principally 
in the mourning of all for one whom they have pierced. 
A critical exposition of the passage forbids us to see 
in this prophet the Messias, requiring us rather to 
regard the murder as having already taken place at 
the time of the prophecy ; still what we have here — 
though under typical veil — is a definite recognition of 
the fact, that, while Israel participates in the Messianic 
salvation, he will have to mourn the worst result of a 
deadly enmity cherislved by him towards a servant of God 
sent in witness of the truth. This recognition also we 
find, again, in Deutero-Isaiah, in so far at least as his 
prophecy also represents the suflfering of the servant of 
God as occasioned by the enmity of apostate Israelites, 

1 Ezek. 20. 38, Isa. 48. 22, 50. 11, 67. 20 f., 65. 11 ff., 66. 24. 

New Testament FvXJUnieni. 291 

and in so far as tbe penitent and panloned tsraelitea 
acknowledge that they have failed to know, and have 
lightly esteemed, the servant of God, when he took 
the form of a sufferer, deeming hiui as one justly 
chastened of God ; but that now they have come to 
know that he, the guiltless one, bore their guilt and 
punbhment.' — Finally, prophecy also foretold that, 
immediately preceding the advent of the Divine Judge 
of His people and Bedeenier of His faithful ones, there 
should come a great prophet 03 preparer of the way, 
who, by his Divinely-powerful word, should summon 
the people to repentance.^ 

Upon Israel's conversion and redemption there 
follows the etUrance of the Gentiles into the Kingdom 
of God. This event also, according to the entire testi- 
mony of Old Testament prophecy, is prepared for, 
conditioned, and accompanied by a judicial revelation 
of the holy majesty of Jehovah, in destroying the 
determined enemies of His kingdom, in filling the spared 
remnant with fear and trembling before Him, and in 
opening their eyes to the nothingness of their idols, and 
to Jehovah's sole Godhead. The judgment wliidi 
produces such an effect strikes, moreover, in the tiist 
instance, the world-power, to whose dominion tlii; 
people of God had been given over. On the other 
hand, it is the association of this judgment with the 
redemption of Israel, and the gift to him of the Mesai^m ir. 
salvation, which awakens in the Gentiles the lotting 
to be attached likewise to the God Whom they have 
' Isa. E3. 'Mai. 3. ],*. Ef. 

292 Tlie Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

come to know as the only strength and salvation. 
In some individual prophecies ^ there is ascribed, further, 
to the person and blessing-laden government of the 
Divinely-powerful Messianic king, a certain attractive 
power, which determines the nations to yield willing 
subjection to him as God's representative on earth, and 
match his royal requii'eraents with a ready obedience. 
In others it is announced that God Himself will make 
known His will, and, by the exercise of His unerring 
judicial power, set up among them His kingdom of 
peace;* that He will take away the veil of their ignorance 
and blindness,^ and purify their lips from the defile- 
ment of the idol-names, so that they shall call upon 
His name and serve Him in one mind.^ Another clear 
and definite announcement of Old Testament prophecy 
is, however, that the people of God will be instrumental 
in bringing to the nations the true knowledge and 
worship of God, and in executing upon the Gentiles 
the saving purpose of the Divine mercy. As early as 
Jeremiah ^ we find the beginnings of this perception, and 
Deutero-Isaiah depicts repeatedly and in detail, how, 
with an untiring endurance, ever ready to sufiBer, and 
in faithfulness even unto death, the servant of God, 
appointed a light to the Gentiles, fulfils a prophetic 
witness-vocation, which God had in view even at the 
time of Israel's election, until the sworn decree of 
Jehovah, that every knee should bow, and every tongue 
swear to Him, shall have been carried out, and the 

^ E.g. Zech. 9. 10, Isa. 11. 10. « Isa. 2. 3 f. 

» Isft. 25. 7. * Zeph. 3. 9. » Jer. 12. 16, 30. 10. 

Neio Testament FulJUmmt. 293 

salvation of God shall bave reached the ends of the 
earth. — But prophecy has too clear a perception of the 
sin and alienation from Grod that prevail in the world, 
and of the far-reaching nature of the contrast between 
the Gentile world-kingdoms and the Kingdom of God, to 
be able to present the prospect of a development to 
this goal, that should be peaceful and without conflict 
or further judgments. Hence it announces repeatedly, 
as immediately preceding the last time, a final conflict 
of the heathen world-power with the Kingdom of God, 
ending in the complete victory of the latter, and a 
destroying judgment upon the assailants. Such is 
already the representation of Joel/ Micah,^ and the 
preexilian Zechariah.^ Jeremiah also prophesies that, 
beyond the first judgment upon the idolatrous nations 
hostile to Israel, after their pardon and restoration, and 
after the knowledge of the true God has been offered 
to them, and the door to His kingdom been opened, yet 
a second judgment will overtake and destroy those who 
persist in their obduracy.* The destroying judgment 
thus awaits the Gentiles also, only in so far as, in spite 
of Jehovah's deeds of judgment and grace, they betray 
an unwiUingTiess to enter the kingdom of God through 
impenitent persistence in their enmity against God and 
His kingdom. The most remarkable form of this an- 
nouncement occurs in Ezekiel: after the first judgment 
— which secures Israel against the surrounding nations ^ 

1 Joel 3. 9 ff. * Micah 4. 11 ff., 5. 5 f. 

» Zech. 12. 1 ff., \\. 3 ff., 12 ff. < Jcr. 12. 17. 

» Ezek. 28. 24 ff. 

294 Tlte Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

— the Kingdom of God is set up in perfected form for 
Israel on the soil of the holy land, and the people of 
God enjoy a long period of secure rest and deep peace.^ 
Only in the last days the most distant peoples, who 
have not yet learned the power of Jehovah, assemble 
in troops round Gog, king of Magog, for a last assault 
upon the Kingdom of God, whereupon the last judg- 
ment of God falls upon them and their countries, — a 
judgment in which He approves Himself as the Holy 
One in the eyes of all peoples, in order that all may 
know Him, and the people of God remain for ever 
secured against all assaults and reproach.^ But 
Deutero-Isaiah also holds out the prospect, after the 
judgment upon the Chaldean world-power, and after 
the people of God have begun to fulfil their prophetic 
witness - vocation, of another and last assault of the 
heathen peoples upon the city of God, and of a last 
great judgment upon them, in consequence of which 
even the most distant peoples will pay homage to 
Jehovah, of Whose glory they will hear from fugitives.' 
As Old Testament prophecy knowg nothing of a 
twofold coming of the Messias in the form of a servant 
and in glory, it necessarily fails to bring clearly to 
light the mustard-seed growth of the community of 
the New Covenant, and the difference between the 
first humble form of the Church militant and the 
final glorious form of the Church triumphant. Usually 
it associates rather the erection of the Kingdom of God 
in its final form immediately with the redemptive act 

1 Ezek. 88. 8. 11 f. « Ezek. chaps. 38 and 39. » Isa. 66. 18 ff. 

New Testament Fulfilment 295 

of God, which brings about the era of salvation. 
Nevertheless the fundamental law, which determines 
the course of the development of the Kingdom of Christ, 
is clearly expressed in the prophecy of Deutero-Isaiah. 
God's ways are different from the ways of men; His 
work attains accomplishment in quite another way 
than human works. His people, whom He has called 
as His servant to accomplish His saving purposes, 
attain nothing by external power, by operations that 
are noisy, violent, or that strike the eye. The power 
that originates from Him must find its warrant in the 
victory of His people over an external world-power, to 
which yet they appear to be subject. Victory is won 
only through the humble, self-renouncing, pain-defying 
devotion of God's people to Himself, and to their 
entrusted vocation of salvation and love, and through 
the invisible power of God and His truth ; only on 
the way of humiliation and suffering do the people of 
God come to participate in their destined glory. 

Finally, be it once again remembered that even 
Old Testament prophecy announces, as the closing 
scene of the entire history of salvation, the resurrection 
and accompanying final judgment of the dead (this 
specially in the Book of Daniel), and the renewal and 
glorifying of heaven and earth. 

In all this we recognise the elements of New 
Testament apprehension of the conditions of receiving 
salvation, and of the course of development pursued by 
the history of the Theocracy. In particular, we see 
also the main lines of New Testament eschatology; 

296 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

but here also the fragmentary character of the pro- 
phetic apprehensions^ and the practice of veiling them 
under types, make themselves in many ways apparent. 
Thus it is shown that at every point the Messianic 
prophecy of the Old Covenant fails to present any full 
apprehension of God's saving purpose as carried out in 
the New Covenant, and that so far from its doing so, the 
accomplishment of that purpose is its first full revelation. 
5. The actual execution of God's saving purpose in 
and through Christ goes, according to the foregoing 
exposition, far beyond the content of Messianic prophecy; 
it is a more glorious revelation of the eternal love of 
God, it ofiFers a yet greater salvation than that which 
prophecy places in prospect ; but it is none the less 
on that account the fulfilment of prophecy. Not even 
the unreserved acknowledgment of the fragmentary 
character of the prophetic apprehensions, in consequence 
of which the carrying out of God's saving purpose 
appears distributed among various mediating agents of 
salvation, implies in any degree a dissolution of the 
bond which unites Old Testament prophecy and New 
Testament fulfilment. For what is true of Messianic 
prophecy in general and as a whole, viz. that it ha^ its 
Ood'irUended and God-ordained ultimate reference to 
Christ — givijig it its place in historical revdation, is 
true even of those Messianic prophecies which, in 
their historical sense, do not treat of the person of the 
Messias, but of the visible appearance of Jehovah for 
final judgment and for redemption, or of the theocratic 
community of the Old Covenant, or of the Messianic 

New Testament Fidfilment 297 

high priest. The decree of God, fixed before the 
foundation of the world, that Christ should assume the 
central position of sole mediator of all salvation in the 
Kingdom of God and in humanity, implied that all 
prophecies, proceeding from whatsoever different start- 
ing-points, should from the first point towards Him, 
should converge towards Him as rays of light to their 
focal point, and find in and through Him their unified 

Even before the appearance of Christ we find at 
least the beginnings of a way of interpreting prophecy 
which recognises this ultimate reference to the great 
design of historical revelation, and goes therefore beyond 
the historical sense of individual predictions. The 
gulf between the content of Old Testament prophecy 
and New Testament fulfilment is at least in some 
degree bridged over by the development of the religious 
perceptions of Judaism in the post-canonical period. 
We cannot enter here on a detailed proof of this. 
The Judaeo - Alexandrian doctrine of the Logos, the 
speculations 2 formulated in the Sh^khlna' and the 

1 Cp. 2 Cor. 1. 20. Cp. Bebtheau in loc, at. 1859, p. 320 : ** Many 
are the threads of prophecy which, pervading the Old Testament in 
motley complication, meet in the Mediator of the New Testament." 
Oehler, Herzog's BecU ' Enryklop&die, art. "Messias," 1st ed. p. 
417; 2nd ed. p. 648 : '*It belongs to the character of prophecy to 
present in its envisaging forms disjecta membra which are harmoniously 
blended only in the course of the fulfilling history. The presupposi- 
tions of all the essential determinations of New Testament Christology 
are to be found in the Old Testament, but the revealing word which 
unites them organically. and gives them their ultimate form, is given 
only along with the accomplished revealing fact." 

2 Theologoumeria, 

298 Tlie Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

M^mra! ^ (indwelling, word) * of the Palestinian theo- 
logy* aiid the conception of the Hypostatic Wisdom, 
notoriously paved the way for the New Testament 
doctrine of the Trinity, and in particular for its 
doctrine of the Son ; and besides these we need give 
prominence in a Christological reference only to an 
idea which can claim so early a witness as the Book 
of Enoch (18. 3. 6), that, viz., of the antemundane pre- 
existence of the Messias, which approximates further 
to the conception found in the Targum of Jonathan, 
that the Messias was already present, and would emerge 
from obscurity so soon as Israel repented ; * and, as 
regards the opened Heaven of Christian hope, we may 
refer to the doctrine of immortality of the later Judaism,* 
and especially to the frequent representa-tions— occur- 
ring also in the Targum of Jonathan — of eternal life, and 
of the second death, which the condemned, who are 
consigned to Gehenna, must die. — The point of im- 
portance, however, for us to note in this connexion is 
that even the oldest Jewish exegesis referred to the 
Messias many passages which in their historical sense 
contain no mention of him, and associated the ful- 
filment of all the promises of salvation with his 

1 Cp. thereon Ferd. Webek, System der alUynagogalen pdUUtin' 
iHchen Theologie^ Leipzig 1880, pp. 174 if. 

^ [The technical terms, common in Old Testament post-canonical 
times, for the manifested glory and the revelation of Jehovah. — ^Tb.] 

' Jonath. Micah 4. 8 : ** And thou ^lessias of Israel, who art concealed 
because qf the sins of the community of Zion, to thee will the kingship 
come," etc. Cp. besides, Wkber in loc. cit, pp. 339 ff. 

* Cp. e.g, Jonath. Isa. 4. 3.— Isa. 22. 14, 65. 6. 15.— Hos. 14. 9, 
Isa. 26. 15. 19 and other passages. 

New Testament Fulfilment, 299 

appearance.^ In the Targum of Jonathan, which — 
later additions apart — was certainly written before the 
destruction of Jersualem, and rests upon a traditional 
style of exegesis which reaches back into the pre- 
Christian era, very many prophecies — among them the 
most of those which are cited by the New Testament 
writers — are stamped as Messianic. This is specially 
true of Deutero - Isaiah's prophecies regarding the 
servant of God. The thought of a sufifering and dying 
Messias is, of course, sedulously excluded, and every- 
thing that is said in Isa. 53 of the sufTering of the 
servant of God is set aside by a stirained interpretation.^ 

^ la his treatise, "Ueber doppelten Schriftsinn" {Stud, u, Krit, 
1866, Pt. i. Cp. also his AUtest. Theol, 2iid ed. pp. 828 ff.)i Hebm. 
ScHULTZ has shown how many of the Psalms, specially the monarchical 
ones, have acquired, through their use in public worship in the Old 
Testament community, and on the basis of their original historical 
8ense, a second and higher Messianic sense. 

^ Except that in Isa. 58. 12 the clause " because he hath poured out 
his soul unto death " was allowed to remain. The paraphrast, however, 
could hardly have intended it to be understood as referring to a literal 
endurance of death (cp. Weber in loc, cU. p. 345). So far, moreover, 
H8 individual passages, depicting the sufferings of the servant of God, 
arc referred to the misery of the Israelitish nation, this is less an 
instance of strained exegesis (such as we find pn^tised with the most 
violent arbitrariness in 53. 3. 7. 9) than of keeping — though doubtless 
in a very external way — to the historical sense ; it marks simply the 
fact that the Messianic interpretation is not yet established ; the older 
historical understanding of prophecy still asserts itself over against it 
to a considerable extent. We take this opportunity of pointing out, 
further, that in the passage, Sir. 48. 10 f. (which treats of the return 
of Elias), use is made of Isa. 49. 6 along with Mai. 4. 5, which pre- 
supposes a reference or an accompanying reference of the prophecy 
regarding the servant of God to the prophetic office, or, more exactly, 
to the prophetes pMlds^ faithfuL prophet (1 Mace. 14. 41), expected 
in accordance with Deut. 18. 15, or, otherwise, the revival of ancient 
prophecy in the returning Elias. 

300 The Relation of Messianic Proplucy to 

Such interpretations, however,al ways rest, along with the 
designation of the future aeon (alma' dh"dth£ = }idoldm 
habhct) as the time of the Messias,^ upon the supposition 
that the Messias has in general to be viewed as the 
mediator of the salvation destined for the people of 
God, and especially of the forgiveness of sin.^ — Hence 
it cannot surprise us that, on the basis of such a mode 
of exegesis, transcending as it does the historical sense 
of prophecy, and laying hold of its ultimate design in 
the scheme of historical revelation, Zacharias should 
regard the prophecy of the coming of the Lord to His 
people,' and Simeon, the promises relating to the ser- 
vant of God,* as finding their fulfilment in the Messias. 
Yet all this was but a preparatory initiation of the 
perception that all the promises of God were to become 
'' yea and amen " in the person of the one Messianic 
mediator of salvation.* For this perception wells forth 
for the first time with perfect clearness from the 
Messianic self-consciousness of Jesus Christ. As the 
Son, who has the full confidence of His Father as 
regards the latter's mind and intentions. He, in general, 
so construes the word of Old Testament Scripture as 
to bring forth the eternal thoughts of God from their 
temporary national veiL The word of prophecy, in 
particular, He treats in this way. He understands 
and interprets it as One conscious of having been 
appointed sole Mediator of salvation before the founda- 
tion of the world, and of having now come to accom- 

^ Jonathan, 1 Kings 4. 33. ' Cp. Jonathan, Isa. 53. 4. 
Luke 1. 76. * Luke 2. 31 f. * 2 Cor. 1. 20. 

New Testament Fulfilment, 301 

plish the whole saving counsel of the Father regarding 
humanity. In this consciousness He makes Himself 
the Subject of all the saving mediatorial activities and 
experiences which prophecy predicated of various sub- 
jects, and which were to perfect the Kingdom. — By His 
Gonfinnatory acceptance of the confession that He is 
the Christ^ and of the title " Son of David," by His 
Self-designation as the " Son of Man " and the " Son of 
God " (albeit the content of these names is not con- 
fined to their Messianic sense), by His sworn confession 
before the Council,^ and by His festive Messianic 
entrance into Jerusalem conformably to the words of 
the prophecy, Zech. 9. 9, He declares the profJhecies 
of the coming Messias as, above all others, those which 
are in part fulfilled and in part about to be fulfilled in 
His own person and work as the King of the heavenly 
Kingdom. Of course, however, the picture of the 
Messianic King which emerges from the depths of His 
self-consciousness is different from that of the prophets ; 
the two pictures are just as distinct from each other 
as are the Old Testament delineation of an external 
theocracy and the New Testament idea of the Kingdom 
of heaven ; but, on the other hand, they have the same 
internal mutual relations as these latter. The Messi- 
anic King of the Kingdom of God, through whom 
God's kingly rule and His judicial and saving work are 
mediated, has, in Christ's sense, first of all only an 
invisible spiritual power, founded especially upon the 
spiritual power of the truth which He came into the 

1 Matt. 16. 16 f. « Matt. 26. 63 f. 

302 The Bdation of Messianic Prophecy to 

world to attest and authenticate; His glory, at first 
mainly ethical, is as yet concealed, recognisable only 
to the eye of faith ; His Kingdom, that is not of this 
world, is, in the first instance, set up inwardly in the 
heart; His way to glory and universal recognition 
leads through the deepest humiliation in His suffering 
of death; and, even after all power has been given 
Him in heaven and on earth, His kingly government, 
by means of which He leads His people to meet the 
End on the same road that He has gone Himself^ is 
manifest first of all only to the faith that looks into 
the invisible world, until at the end of days He will 
return in full revelation of His kingly glory to judge 
His enemies and set up His Kingdom in its perfect 
form. — We may say that the difference between this 
picture of the Messianic king and that indicated by 
the prophets results mainly from the unification and 
organic combination of the idea of the Messias and 
the idea of the servant of God, effected in the self-con- 
sciousness of Christ, and that it is only in the announce- 
ments of the second coming of Christ in His glory 
that the features of the prophetic picture of the Messias 
emerge in their full brilliance. 

Christ relates also to Himself in the same way what 
is prophesied of the servant of God, ix, the theocratic 
community of the Old Covenant, who were in Jehovah's 
service. His explanation of Isa. 61. 1 f . in the syna- 
gogue at Nazareth : " This day is this scripture fulfilled 
in your ears,"^ already implies this ; and of the saying 

1 Luke 4. 21. 

New Testament Fulfilment, 303 

in Isa. 53. 12, He says expressly that it must be ful- 
filled in Himself.^ But even in the vaguer references 
to Old Testament prophecy regarding * His sufiferings 
and death, and the glory that should follow,^ He has 
without doubt, besides Ps. 22, the prophecy regarding 
the servant of God in Isa, 53 chiefly in view. He is, 
consciously to Himself, the personal Mediator of salva- 
tion. Who has come forth from Israel and is a member 
of that nation, in Whom the theocratic community of 
the Old Covenant fulfils the prophetic and priestly 
calling entrusted to it, and in Whom, therefore, all the 
Divine thoughts of the substitutionary sufiferings of the 
servant of God and their fruit and reward necessarily 
find their fullest realisation. In Him, as Centre of 
the theocratic community of the Old Covenant, its 
God -ordained Head and mediatorial Representative, 
the Bearer of its prophetic and priestly oflSce for 
humanity, the prophecy regarding the servant of God 
attfidns the goal Divinely intended in the scheme of 
historical revelation. Thus the ideal collective person- 
ality becomes in the fulfilment an individual Person, 
in Whom what was said of the former must now be 
fulfilled. Hence it is with good ground that the 
apostles also find all the predictions of the prophetic 
ministry^ and the vicarious death* of the servant of 
God fulfilled in Christ 

But Christ also regards the prophecy of the visible 

1 Luke 22. 37. 

3 Mark 9. 12, Matt. 26. 54, Luke 24. 25 if. 44 if. 

» Matt. 12. 17 if. * Acts 8. 82 ff., 1 Pet. 2. 22 ff. 

304 Tlie Relation of Messianic PropJiecy to 

appearance of Jehovah in the angel of the covenant for 
judgment and redemption as fulfilled in His person. 
This appears without ambiguity in His express declara- 
tion that His own forerunner, John the Baptist, was 
the Elias who, according to prophecy, should prepare 
the way for the coming Jehovah/ When, in the light 
of the fact that the highest expression of hostility to 
the truth of God that converted Israel has penitently 
to bewail consists in the crucifixion of the Messias, 
who is at the same time the greatest of the God-sent 
prophets, the prophecy in Zech. 12. 10 flf. also is 
stripped of its typical veil and referred to Christ,' and 
when we say that He is not only the Messianic King 
but also the Messianic High Priest whom Zechariah's 
prophecy had placed beside the former, we may see in 
such procedure simply a further application and carry- 
ing out of Christ's own apprehension of prophecy. 
Similarly, all the New Testament indications of the 
fulfilment in Christ of such Scriptures as those in 
which we can recognise Messianic prophecies only 
because of their essentially typical structure, are but a 
further carrying out of the understanding of prophecy 
offered by Christ Himself. They also find footing in 
the certainty that, according to the eternal counsel of 
God, Christ is the accomplisher of the whole saving 

1 Matt. 11. 10-14, 17. 10 ff. This important feature in the Self- 
testimony of the Synoptical Christ, which, not less than the much- 
discussed passage, Matt. 11. 27, has points of connexion with th« 
Self-testimony of the Johannine Christ, has not yet^been properly 
attended to. 

* John 19. 37, Rer. 1. 7. 

New Testament FulJUment. 305 

purpose of God^ and that therefore also the prophetic 
substance of all those Scriptures which express God's 
eternal thoughts of salvation in application to definite 
historical or specifically Old Testament circumstances 
(express them, therefore, in typical veil), finds its God- 
intended goal of ultimate reference in Christ as the 
end of historical revelation, — a reference which, of 
course, frequently became apparent to the apostles 
themselves only after the event, as, indeed, is several 
times expressly remarked,* and which they for the 
most part, discarding the historical sense, keep ex- 
clusively in view.^ Hence also the plan they usually 

1 John 20. 9, 2. 22. 

' A more detailed exposition of the subject of the New Testament 
citations of Old Testament prophecies lies beyond the domain of our 
task. We add here, in brief appendix, only some general remarks. 
The New Testament writers, as also Christ Himself, throughout regard 
the word of Old Testament Scripture solely from the point of view of 
an interest in such apprehension of saving truth as is of immediate 
importance to the life that proceeds from God and is in Him. It does 
not therefore at all occur to them to ask how the prophets themselves 
understood their own predictions, or how they were necessarily under- 
stood by their contemporaries. Their sole concern is with what the 
Spirit of God attests in them for themselves, for their contemporaries, 
and for aU times, t.e. with the eternal Divine substance of the word of 
Old Testament Scripture ; and they therefore regard this substance 
entirely in the light of New Testament knowledge given in Christ. 
Thus, in particular, their understanding of prophecy is throughout 
conditioned and determined by its fulfilment. This by no means im- 
plies that their exegesis is arbitrary. It is only here and there that 
there occur individual instances of interpretations and Scripture-proofs, 
whose validity and cogency we must altogether disallow, and these are 
just the cases in which the New Testament writers employ the modes 
of exegesifl prevalent among their Jewish contemporaries — particularly 
the Alexandrian method of allegorising — with the view of offering a 
more learned and scholarly style of Scripture-proof (Gal. 8. 16, 4. 21 ff. ; 
also some of the minutiae of Heb. 7). Apart from these exceptions, 


306 l^he Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

adopt in the citation of such passages of not naming 
the human authors as those who have uttered the 
particular saying, but of using such formulas of citation 
as : " It is written," " The Scripture saith," " God hath 
spoken," " The Holy Ghost witnesseth," etc., has a 
reasonable ground of justification, for the sense in 
which they apprehend such texts is precisely not their 
historical sense, but is one rather that corresponds 
with the ultimate reference of the prophecies to Christ 
as the end of historical revelation, a reference that is 
intended by God or the Spirit of God. 

We may add to the above a brief reference to a 

their usual style of exegesis does not consist in an allegorising intro- 
duction of alien matter into the text of Scripture, but in a deeply 
thoughtful, Divinely -inspired exhibition of the inmost kernel, the 
ideal, eternal substance which, though concealed in a times-adapted 
veil, it really contains. They do indeed find in the text of Scripture a 
meaning far transcending that which is discoverable by a strictly his- 
torical mode of exposition, and they regard this meaning as the true 
one, the one that is intended by the Spirit of God ; but this meaning 
is not introduced arbitrarily ; it stands in inner connexion with the 
historical meaning ; and the apostles did but follow an inner necessity, 
did but act in conformity with an objective law, of which, of course, 
they were not themselves as a rule clearly conscious, when, in the light 
of the Kew Covenant, they understood Scripture texts in this higher 
sense. The inner connexion of their interpretation, given from the 
standpoint of fulfilment, with the historical sense of the passages cited, 
is supplied, on the one hand, by the ideal substance which, whether 
compressed into Old Testament and times-adapted forms or applied to 
definite circumstances, is really present in the words of Scripture ; and, 
on the other, by the Divine teleology, dominating and informing the 
history of salvation, in accordance with which the character of a pre- 
type of the New Covenant belongs to the entire Old Covenant, inas- 
much as all the Divine thoughts, while attaining t69entud realisation 
in Christ, are realised only temporarily and imperfectly in the Old 
Covenant. It was Christianity that first brought to light the essential 
features of this typological^ as distinguished from the allegorical^ mode 
of exegesis. While historical exegesis ascertains the sense that the 

Ntw Testament FalJUmenL 307 

difficulty that might possibly be occasioned by our 
assertion that the unifying and organic comprehension 
of the fragmentary glimpses of truth offered in the 
Messianic prophecy of the Old Testament was accom- 
plished only through its fulfilment in Christ It might 
be said, in that case the end of prophecy could have 
been attained only very imperfectly as regards the 
measure of insight available for the contemporaries of 
Jesus. In particular, the offence at Christ's servant- 
form and the death on the cross was very excusable if 
Old Testament prophecy did not really know of a 
suffering and dying Messias, and if the prophetic pic- 
text of Scripture had for the authors and their contemporaries, this 
typological exposition exhibits the significance which it acquires in the 
light of the whole history of salvation as attaining its goal in Christ ; 
it ascertains its ultimate point of reference, as decreed in the counsel of 
God, which was hidden, but became manifest when the time was ful- 
filled ; and, whether to the consciousness of the expositor himself or 
not, it has always as its substratum the historical sense, inasmuch as 
it does not, like the allegorising method, start from some external and 
casual point in the Scripture text, but grows from an insight into its 
innermost kernel. — Regarded as a whole, the Hermeneutic of the New 
Testament is just such a sound, objectively legitimate, typological 
mode of exegesis. The Old Testament economy constituted still the 
normal and immediate intellectual horizon and sphere of experience of 
the New Testament writers ; they were at home in the inmost sanctuary 
of the Old Covenant. Hence they had also a steady and clear eye for 
the eternal Divine thoughts which compose the kernel of the text of 
Old Testament Scripture. Their use of Scripture, moreover, was 
simple, devoid of exegetical art. They confine themselves, as a rule, 
to the employment of individual passages as Scripture-proofs — pas- 
sages, however, whose eternal truth -substance attested itself q/" t^e//* to 
their Christian consciousness, and in which prophetic testimonies of 
the New Testament salvation came, wholly unbidden, to view. Hence 
it would not have been easy for them to refer, in a wholly arbitrary 
way, just what texts they pleased to Christ and His Kingdom. For a 
more detailed treatment of this subject, cp. Tholuck's work, Daa 
AlU Testament im Neuen Testamente, 

308 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

ture of the Messias corresponded so little with that of 
the Son of Man. For a first answer to this objection, be 
it yet again remembered that, at the time of Christ's 
appearance, the perception that even the prophecy 
regarding the servant of God pointed ultimately to the 
one Messianic mediator of salvation, had attained at 
least its initial stage. But, specially, it has to be in- 
sisted that the recognition and acknowledgment of 
Jesus as the Christ could not have rested, and ought 
not to have rested, on the perception of an external 
coincidence of prophecy and fulfilment They were 
necessarily associated with ethical conditions and pre- 
requisites. It was not the fragmentary character of 
Messianic prophecy and the one-sidedness of the pro- 
phetic picture of the Messias, but the absence of these 
ethical prerequisites, in particular their carnal disposi- 
tion, which clung to what was earthly and external, 
and their self-righteousness, which hindered the Jews 
and their leaders from recognising the promised 
Messias in the Son of Man, and made His servant-form 
and His suffering of death to them an occasion of offence 
and resentment. Wherever, on the other hand, those 
ethical prerequisites wei'e present, prophecy could 
fulfil its end in spite of its fragmentary character. He 
who was content to learn in humility from the pro- 
phecy concerning the servant of God who passed to 
glory tlirough the suffering of death, how and by what 
means the Theocratic community should fulfil their 
calling to accomplish the saving purpose of God, and 
on what road they should reach victory and their 


New Testament FidJUmmt. 309 

destined glory, — such an one was already prepared for 
the event which brought before him in Jesus the 
promised Messias, not, first of all, in the kingly glory 
of the prophetic picture of the Messias, but in the 
obscurity and lowliness of the servant of God. Hence, 
to those who in the right frame of mind waited for the 
Kingdom of God and the redemption of Israel, neither 
the servant-form of Christ nor His suffering of death 
offered any hindrance to their recognising in Him the 
promised Saviour, for indeed the word of prophecy 
gave them just the light they needed on these points, 
and helped to remove the offence which the death on 
the cross had occasioned to them also. — The whole 
character, moreover, of Messianic prophecy is opposed 
to the possibility of an apprehension of its fidfilment 
in Christ originating in the perception of an external 
agreement between prophecy and event obvious to the 
eye of flesh. For, as we have seen. Messianic prophecy 
is not what the older supematuralism imagined, essen- 
tially prediction of the individual concrete events of 
the New Testament record of fulfilment, but announce- 
ment — ^announcement in great measure in typical veil 
— of the eternal saving thoughts of God which were 
to be accomplished in the New Covenant. Its ideal 
substance, therefore, is the bond which unites prophecy 
to its fulfilment ; and only he who was able to grasp this 
ideal substance — these Divine thoughts of salvation — 
as what was essential in an apprehension which did 
not cling to the surface or to the letter, but penetrated 
to the depths of the written word, — an apprehension 

310 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

surely always ethically conditioned, — was in a position 
also to recognise the that and the how of the fulfilment 
of prophecy in and through Christ. 

6. Still we must not fail to give here some special 
prominence to the fact that, even as regards the con- 
crete historical realisation of the saving thoughts of 
God, and in relation to a considerable number of par- 
ticulars here and there, there was exhibited a remark- 
able coincidence between prophecy and fulfilment. We 
do not mean that where this is the case the character 
of Messianic prophecy is so altered as to be less in 
need of psychological media or less subject to historical 
conditions, nor do we suppose the Spirit to have in 
some exceptional way concretely envisaged to the 
prophets certain individual historical facts of the New 
Testament fulfilment, — the general rule being that 
such envisaging is possible only in the case of events 
which lay actually within their times-horizon ;^ — what 
we do mean is that such instances of special coinci- 
dence do not occur apart from deep ideal reasons. In 
particular, they arise from the fact that the same 
principle of Divine government — prevailing alike in 
the world and in the Kingdom of God — which reveals 
itself in the history of Israel at the time of the origin 
of a prophecy, and hence also assumes such prominence 
in the consciousness of the prophet as to inform the 
content of his prophecy and give it its peculiar stamp, 
has a similar determining effect upon the course and 
form of the fulfilling history of the New Testament. 

1 Pp. 142 ff. 

New Tcalament Fulfilment, 311 

The circumstance, however, that in several instances 
the coincidence — thus originated — between prophecy 
and fulfilment is of so special a nature as to include 
even particular external incidents, can hardly, we 
judge, be considered by a living faith in God other- 
wise than as Divinely - intended, — as, so to speak, 
sublimated into the plan in accordance with which 
God has associated together and set in reciprocal 
relation the revelation and the history of salvation. 
Such coincidences are designed as finger-posts, pointing 
to the deeper and more essential connexion between 
prophecy and fulfilment — as external holdfasts, aiding 
a still weak understanding, and attracting attention to 
the fulGtmeot of prophecy in such a way as to en- 
courage a more penetrating investigation into the 
nature of the bond that unites these two correlates of 
historical revelation. — Such was obviously the design 
of Christ in cirranging His Messianic processional entry 
into Jerusalem, in literal conformity to the words of 
Zech. 9. 9. Take for another instance of coincidence 
Micah's propliecy,' that the Messias will proceed from 
Bethlehem, — a prediction in wliich the special concern 
of the prophet is to insist that, after the Divine 
judgment has plunged it into the lowest depths of 
degradation, the kingship of the Davidic house will 
rise, in the person of the Messianic king, a second 
David, from its deep humiliation to the highest eleva- 
tion of power and glory, starting, in like manner, a 
second time from the small inconspicuous Bethlehem -, 
1 Micali B. 2, 

312 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

and yet a prediction which, if the historicity of the 
record upon the point can be otherwise established/ 
was fulfilled not only in its ideal substance but also 
literally. — Quite unassailable, however, by historical 
criticism is the remarkable coincidence of the New 
Testament record of fulfilment with the prophecy in 
Isa. 9. 1 f.,^ according to which the light of the Mes- 
sianic salvation was to shed its rays first upon the 
inhabitants of the tribal districts of Zebulon and 
Naphtali, the region by the Sea of Gennesaret, and 
the Jordan. — An equally remarkable agreement, affect- 
ing even details, between the record of New Testament 
fulfilment and the words of Old Testament Scripture is 
to be found, moreover, in relation to several points 
which can be regarded as prophecies referring to Christ 
only, in virtue of their typical significance.* The 
most striking instance of this is the twenty-second 
Psalm, which presents to every Christian eye an un- 
mistakable picture of the crucified Christ surrounded 
by His triumphant foes.^ The agreement also of the 
picture of the servant of God, as delineated in prophecy, 
with the picture of Christ extends to several quite 
minute points.* — The New Testament writers acted 
thus in conformity with the relation actually obtaining 

^ For arguments establishing the historicity of the tradition of the 
birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, see B. Weiss' Das Lehen Jeau, i. pp. 
286 ff. 

' Cp. R.V. [Tr.] with ilatt 4. 13 ff., and, in rt, Henostenbero, 
Chriatohffie, ii. pp. 88 f. 

' Cp. Oehler, art. "Weissagung," p. 656. 

* Cp. Matt. 27. 43. 46, John 19. 24, with Ps. 22. vv. 8, 1 and 18 ix5sp. 

» Isa. 42. 2 f., 50. 5 ff., 52. 14 f., and chap. 53. 

New Testament Fulfilment. 313 

between prophecy and fulfilment when they found the 
fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy in many cases, 
even in the minutiae of the evangelic narrative, albeit 
that undoubtedly, in the plenitude of their conviction 
that the entire Old Testament prophesied of Christ, 
they gave to the perception of coincidence between pro- 
phecy and fulfilment a somewhat wider range than 
can be conceded to it from the point of view of a 
correct historical exposition of the words of Old 
Testament Scripture. — Of a somewhat different kind 
is the agreement of the concrete historical realisation 
of the saving thoughts of God with the content of 
prophecy, which results necessarily from the organico- 
historic connexion subsisting between the Old and the 
New Covenant. To this class we reckon, in particular, 
the Israelitish and Davidic descent of Christ, and the 
circumstances that the Holy Land constituted the 
sphere of His ministry, the Holy City the princi- 
pal scene of the events accomplishing salvation, and 
an elect from Israel the nucleus of the Christian 

7. Through Christ the Messianic prophecy of the 
Old Covenant fulfils itself further in Etis community 
and in His Kingdom. This fulfilment, moreover, 
concerns not merely its announcedient regarding the 
benefits of salvation which are to accrue to the 
people of God, and, in general, regarding the perfect 
condition of the people and kingdom of God, but also 
what it says of the destination and calling of the 
people of God, and the important consequences which 

314 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

flow from their realisation. For the prophecy regard- 
ing the servant of God did not bj any means find a 
fulfilment adequate to its entire content even in the 
prophetic ministry, sufferings, death, and glorification 
of Christ. Inasmuch as it does not, in its historical 
se{kse, treat of one personal mediator of salvation, but 
of the theocratic community of the Old Covenant, its 
ultimate reference in the scheme of historical revela- 
tion is not exclusively to Christ, but also to His 
Church ; and the eternal thoughts of God, which it 
contains, must find fulfilment, as in Christ, so also in 
it. As the human organ, used by Christ to execute 
God's purpose of grace towards humanity, the Church 
learns from prophecy ^ her destination and calling to 
carry the salvation of God to the ends of the earth, 
as is illustrated by the conduct of Paul and Barnabas ^ 
in certifying their commission to preach salvation in 
Christ to the Gentiles by an appeal to Isa. 49. 6, — 
thus interpreting prophecy in the light of the New 
Covenant in a way not less justifiable than the mode 
of referring its utterances to the Messias. In prophecy 
the Church may read her instructions as to how to 
perform the work of the Lord ; not by the employ- 
ment of external power ; not by a clamorous, violent, 
ostentatious activity, but by conserving in the service 
of love and truth her God -rooted strength over 
against the power of a world to which externally she 
is subject, in enduring patience and self-denying, all- 

' [I.e, specially the prophecy concerning the Servant o/Ood. — ^Tr.] 
« Acts 13. 46 f. 

Ntw Testament FidJUment 315 

sacrificiDg devotiou to the Lord and the vocation 
accepted from Him. It is in prophecy that the 
Church's progress through suffering and conflict to 
victory and glory is typically depicted, and even what 
is said of the vicarious and mediatorial significance of 
the sufferings of the servant of God — ^albeit that its 
full sense was realised only in Christ — has yet, to a 
certain extent, applicability also to the sufferings of 
Christians for righteousness and the gospel's sake.^ 

As Messianic prophecy points ultimately to the 
end of the ways of God and the perfected form of His 
Kingdom upon earth, the New Testament people of 
God must still await its complete fulfilment through 
Christ. Christ Himself has yet to be manifested, as 
the Messianic King, in His glory ; His community 
has yet to become in full measure what the word of 
prophecy declares regarding the final condition of the 
people of God, and His Kingdom has yet to be 
extended over the whole earth and all peoples. The 
entire historical development of the Church of Jesus 
Christ is a continuous fulfilment of Old Testament 
prophecy, a fulfilment that grows gradually but 
constantly towards completeness ; indeed, precisely 
that to which from the first Old Testament prophecy 
gives a quite peculiar prominence, and which, usually, 
it associates immediately with Jehovah's Messianic deed 
of redemption, — the erection, viz., of the kingdom of 
God upon earth in a form fully adequate, even in 
external respects, to its glory, — is in New Testament 

1 Cp. Col. 1. 24, Eph. 3. 13. 

316 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

fulfilment set at the end. In this reference we might 
say that the history of fulfilment strikes out an 
essentially opposite path to that actually traversed by 
the development of Messianic prophecy. While the 
latter, on the whole, advances from the conception of 
the external glory of the perfected Kingdom to the 
deeper perception of its inner essence and character, 
and the preliminary conditions of its establishment, 
in the former the Kingdom of God is founded first 
inwardly in the heart, then comes its inner growth, 
and it is only in the end that the inner glory of the 
Church of God attains external and visible presenta- 
tion.^ — But even the prophecies of the final conflicts 
of the world-empires with the Kingdom of God and 
of God's final judgments upon His enemies are re- 
assumed by New Testament prophecy as oracles 
pointing to the final stage of historical development. 
This is a matter of course with such escha.tological 
announcements as tjjiose regarding the resurrection of 
the dead, the new heaven and new earth, etc. Thus, 
even the Christian community has still to await the 
complete fulfilment of the prophecies of the Old 
Covenant As we have seen, however, we must 
beware of considering all the unfulfilled features of 
prophecy — even those which are not reassumed in 
New Testament prophecy — as predictions still await- 
ing actual fulfilment. — Similarly, as against a mis- 
leading path, a warning must be uttered against 
seeking in prophecy for definite preannouncements to 

> Cp. AuBERLKN, AhhandL p. 790. 

New Testament FvJJUment. 317 

solve, as on the authority of the word of God, in- 
dividual problems that may emerge in the course 
of the Church's development Neither Old nor New 
Testament prophecy offers help of this kind ; on the 
contrary, the only method used by prophecy to shed 
light upon the course of theocratic development that 
lies beyond the period which it can claim as its own, 
is to reveal the fundamental principles and the 
ultimate aim of the Kingdom of God. If prophecy is 
not to become a deceptive light, if it is to be con- 
served as a " sure word of prophecy," to which we 
" do well " to give heed " as unto a light that shineth 
in a dark place," ^ we must use it aright, so use it, i.e,, 
as the prophets themselves used the prophecies of 
their predecessors. And, as we have seen, they used 
them, not by way of discovering from them the hidden 
issues of particular events of their own time or the 
immediate future, but by way of extracting from them 
the fundamental thoughts and laws of the Divine 
government of the world and the fundamental 
features of God's sovereign plan, and of applying 
these to the circumstances of their own time. By such 
a use of prophecy they came, so to speak, to see the 
trend of actual events.* If we follow the precedent they 
have set us, the Divine word of prophecy will yield us 
the service it is intended to yield ; we have in it " a 
sure standard of judgment," ' applicable to the con- 
ditions, efforts, and movements of our own time, and 

' 2 Pet. 1. 19. • Dadurch tmirden «e Uber dieae orientiert, 

* Cp. Bebtheau (1859), pp. S81 f. 

318 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

are not in danger of being carried headlong by the 
prevailing currents of the time, or of becoming the 
victims of false hopes or groundless fears. We learn 
more and more to regard contemporary histoiy in that 
higher light in which it also appears as part of the 
road that conducts to the final goal of the ways of 
God. — As to particular periods of Theocratic develop- 
ment yet to come in the hidden counsel of God, — 
about which so many expositors of the Apocalypse 
pretend to know, — w^e know and need know nothing. 
Enough surely that in watchfulness, readiness, and 
joyous hope we look stedfastly towards that final 
goal, regarding the history of our own time as part of 
the road thither. Not even the prophets themselves 
in their own time knew more. 

A review of our entire argument is surely fitted to 
yield the conviction that we lose nothing by a strict 
adherence to the historical mode of expounding Old 
Testament prophecy, and that, in particular, the beliefs, 
that salvation through Christ was preannounced by 
the Divine prophetic word throughout a series of 
centuries, and that all the promises of God are " yea 
and amen " in Christ, remain unshaken. We were not 
at all able to ascribe to the prophets any such great 
measure of knowledge of the saving purpose of God, or 
to acknowledge any such great number of individual 
prophecies as definitely referring to Christ, as those 

New Testament Fulfilment, 319 

are wont to do who continue to look at prophecy 
from the standpoint of a one-sided supernaturalism, 
or are, at any rate, still inflaenced by the after-effects 
of this tendency. Yet the Divine purpose, which so 
ordered historical revelation that all Old Testament 
prophecy should point ultimately to Christ, has stood 
our tests also. But, it may be asked, does our 
somewhat roundabout procedure — starting, as it does, 
from an exact definition of the historical sense of 
prophecy — ^yield any positive or more than merely 
theoretic gain ? 

Do not those come by a much shorter road to the 
same goal who say, with Hengstenberg and Keil ^ : 
The question, what thoughts the prophets had, as the 
result of inquiry regarding the oracles they were 
inspired by the Spirit of Christ to utter, is not of any 
special importance ; our only business is to look in the 
light of New Testament fulfilment to what the Spirit 
of Christ has announced and revealed to us in the 
utterances of the prophets ? May we not, moreover, 
appeal to the example of Christ and the apostles, who 
also did not investigate the historical sense of the 
words of Old Testament Scripture, but looked only to 
what the Old Testament was found to say when 
considered in the light of the New ? Our first 
answer is: Our relation to the Old Testament is 
somewhat different from that of Christ and His 
apostles, in so far as we have not an acquaintance 

^ Hengstbnbero, Chrittologie, iii. 2, p. 204. Keil, KommerUar 
zu Hcselael, p. 521, note. 

320 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

with the Old Testament economy, based, as theirs was, 
upon immediate intuition and experience, and, in 
particular, we should incur the charge of a blinded 
self-exaltation, if we were to credit ourselves with the 
same deep insight which enabled the Lord Himself 
to grasp and to exhibit with distinctness and certainty 
the eternal thoughts of God contained in the words of 
Old Testament Scripture. True, our principal concern 
also in the practical use of the Old Testament is with 
what the word of prophecy says to us, and we have 
therefore to understand and expound it in the light of 
the New Covenant ; this, however, we cannot do with 
clearness and certainty, if we have not first ascertained 
its historical sense. Failure in the latter respect leads 
exegesis astray. Surely the history of Old Testament 
exegesis in the Christian Church testifies only too 
loudly to the extent to which, in consequence of the 
neglect of the historical sense of prophecy, genuine 
typological exposition degenerated into an uncertain 
and arbitrary, an allegorising and dogmatising Her- 
meneutic, introducing everywhere — even in the wrong 
place — references to Christ and properly New 
Testament apprehensions, and often enough thereby 
overlooking the Divine thoughts actually contained 
in the word of Scripture, so dissipating its inherent 
force.^ There is no security from the risk of falling 
into the errors of this Hermeneutic apart from a clear 

^ Cp. my lecture, Ueber die bewndere Bedentung des Alien Testa- 
mentes fUr die religiff^e Erkenntnie» und das religUkte Leben dtr 
chrxsUkhen Oemeinde (Halle 1864), pp. 23 ff. 

New Testament Fulfilment. 321 

insight iuto the historical character of prophecy, and 
the relation of its historical sense to New Testament 
fulfilment. Similarly, it is this insight alone which 
can save us from that Judaising over- estimation of 
the specifically Old Testament envisaging forms 
contained in prophecy which, in a practical regard, is 
by no means inconsiderable, as it not only, in par- 
ticular, influences hurtfuUy the mission to the Jews, 
but has also — as shown by certain sectarian move- 
ments in our own time — proved itself capable of 
leading to fantastic errors in other directions. 

Furthermore, we consider ourselves warranted in 
asserting with confidence that our plan of doing full 
justice to the historical sense of Messianic prophecy 
brings the gain of a more complete apprehension of 
the Divine revelation, preparatory to Christ and His 
Kingdom, which it contains, as well in its historical 
reality as in its true character and wonderful glory — 
a glory worthy of the Divine educative wisdom. For 
the reader, who, in unconcern for the historical sense, 
imports into the utterances of prophecy apprehensions 
which came to light only with the New Testament 
fulfilment, these utterances neither disclose their full 
living substance, nor is there any accompanying 
feeling that he stands on secure historical ground; 
such a reader, indeed, renounces from the first a clear, 
historically-grounded apprehension of the wonderful 
contrivances which the educative wisdom of God 
employed to train Israel for the New Covenant. The 
more, on the other hand, we learn to understand the 


322 The Relation of Messianic Prophecy to 

individual prophecies in their organico - genetic con- 
nection with the religious life of the Old Testament 
covenant-people, and in their relativity to the concrete 
historical circumstances of the time of their origin, 
the more do they give us the impression of the fresh 
forceful vitality peculiar to what is historically actual. 
And when we come, further, to see how these indi- 
vidual prophecies, starting as they do from diflferent 
points, each one announcing fragmentarily only indi- 
vidual momenta of the saving purpose of God, and all 
keeping more or less within the limits of Old Testa- 
ment apprehension, yet find in Christ their unified 
fulfilment, transcending all previous conception, there 
emerge to view in more tangible historic reality the 
governing-policy (das Walten) of the spirit of revela- 
tion in the prophets, and the educative work of 
Jehovah preparatory to Christ, and we gain also, 
provided we still retain some sense of " the joy in the 
green germ-thoughts and the original wealth of ideas 
of Holy Scripture in its festive spring - attire," ^ a 
deeper insight into the adorable glory of this educative 
work. For it is not the man who sees a landscape 
only when everything is green, but rather he who has 
been able to watch the sprouting, budding, and gradual 
blooming, whom the beauty of spring impresses most 
deeply with the sense of the glory of God as revealed 
in nature; even so, he does not gain the deepest 
insight into Divine revelation, who thinks to find 

* Words of LOCKE in liis preface to the 2ii(i e<l. of de Wette's 
Komment, zur Offmh. Joh. p. 13. See Ap})endix A, Note VIII. 

New TestamerU FulJUment 323 

saving truth everywhere in Holy Scripture in its 
fully * developed Kew Testament form, but rather he 
who has an open eye also for its gradual coming to 
the light in the spirit of the Theocratic heroes of the 
Old Covenant. 


I ^«^W^i^^^^^^^^^^^«^^^«^i^^^^^k-«MS*^" 


^.— NOTES. 

I. P. 21. Sentence indicated by note 1. It is only 
fair to give the German of this difficult sentence : " Die 
iiasseren Sinne ruhten dabei ganz; das verstandige 
Bewusstsein (der noHs) w£ir vom 'pneAma tiberwaltigt, 
und zwar so, dass es allerdings nicht pausierte, vielmehr 
erhoht iind anniert wiirde und der intellektuellen Ans- 
chauung, soweit es moglich ist, in ihrem Fluge zu 
folgen suchte, aber doch hinter ihr in bescheidener 
Entfernung zuriickbleiben musste, sich zur Hohe der 
unmittelbEiren Erkenntnisse nicht zu erheben vermochte, 
uberhaupt nur in einem untergeordneten, dienenden Ver- 
haltnisse zu dem Vermogen der inneren Wahrnehmung 
stand " (Genn. p. 16). . The motive and difficulty of the 
view of inspiration here indicated are fully set forth by 
Kiehm (see esp. p. 23, note). Hengstenberg would 
safeguard the reality of inspired certainty by inventing 
for it a special faculty — the " intellektuelle Anschau- 
ung " or " innere Wahrnehmung." The above sentence 
describes his attempt to explain the relation of this 
faculty to the ordinary thinking powers. Manifestly, 
however, Hengstenberg only gets rid of one difficulty to 
l)ecome involved in another. He is deceived by his 
own metaphor of the diefnevdes Verhdltniss. Is it at all 
easier to conceive of God as acting upon the human 
spirit through the medium of a process within the mind, 
in which the mind itself (as rational self-consciousness) 


326 Appendices, 

does not participate, than to conceive of Him as acting 
upon it directly, and in such a way that the mind, while 
acknowledging its debt to revelation and correlative 
inspiration, yet claims the new truth, once it has grasped 
it, as wholly its own ? The latter is Eiehm's view. He 
does not philosophise upon it, nor claim for it freedom 
from all difficulty. What difficulty there is in it is 
God's affair, not ours. Faith leaves the difficulty with 
Him, assured that He is able to deal with it without 
any breach of the laws He has Himself imposed upon 
the mind of man. See in re Eiehm, p. 45, note 2. 

IL P. 32, note 1. "Wahrend er in den prophetischen 
Schriften die 'Zuthaten* und ' Ausschmiickungen ' als 
zwar nicht * direkt gottlichen,' aber doch als ' gottmen- 
schlichen Inhalt* anerkennt (ii. p. 357), will er die 
historischen Bucher des Alten Testamentes im einzelneii 
und so auch in ihren Aussagen liber die Propheten 
darauf angesehen und nach der Norm des prophetischen 
Selbstzeugnisses beurteilt wissen, *ob sich dem gott- 
lichen Korn menschliche Spreu in der Tradition beige- 
mischt hat'" (ii. p. 318). It is uncertain whether the 
"prophetic self-testimony" is not to be taken in the 
more restricted sense of the testivwny of the prophets 
regarding themselves. The note is to be interpreted in 
the light of the sentence in p. 31, " Still Konig," etc. 
Tests applied to is literally — ^and perhaps ought to have 
been rendered — n>orm of. 

IIL P. 33. But to require, etc. The reference is, 
of course, to the idea of accoyimodation, Eiehm objects 
to a use of a sober and legitimate hypothesis, which 
reduces it to what he calls an " abenteuerliche Kari- 
katur." The next sentence, perhaps, hardly expresses 
the original. It should be read with an emphasis on 
thewordAim ("necessarily led him"). Konig's "candour" 
is commendable, in so far as it led him to acknowledge 
the historical limitations of prophecy. But this critical 
candour, when exhibited by one who believes that God 

A.— Notes. 327 

accommodates Himself primarily to the s^nse-faculties, 
leads to very extraordinary results (cp. esp. p. 30, note). 

IV. P. 66, note 1. Book of the Four Covenants (Vier- 
bundesbuch), so called from the four covenants (Adam, 
Noah, Abraham, Moses), includes Ex. 25-40 (except 
32-34), nearly the whole of Leviticus, Num. 1-10, 
15-19, 25-36, with a certain thin thread of narrative 
pervading the whole Pentateuch and the Book of Joshua. 
Ewald calls it the Book of Origiris, Its first name 
was the Mohistic Document (from the constant use of 
'Elohim as the Divine name), and up till recently it 
was generally known by the name Orwndschrift (" main 
stock "), an appellation founded upon the belief that it 
was the earliest document of the Hebrew Bible, and 
therefore in some sense the substratum of the whole. 
Since the publication of Wellhausen's Prolegomena, 1878 
(Eng. transl., A. & C. Black), the so-called "Grafiau 
Hypothesis," according to which the Grundschnft is 
not the earliest, but the latest of the documents of 
the Hexateuch (i.e. the Pentateuch and Joshua) has 
become popular among scholars. The Ghrundschrift 
appears now as the Priestly Code^ and is regarded as 
directly authoritative only as testifying to the require- 
ments of the religious standpoint prevsJent in the time 
of Ezra. It will be observed that, while Biehm does 
not commit himself to the new view (the sentence to 
which we here refer rather assumes the correctness of 
the old view), he is careful to base no argument upon 
what would be inconsistent with either the one or the 
other (see esp. p. 65, not« 2). On the whole subject, 
cp. Wellh. ProL, Eng. transl. pp. 6 flf., 17-293, 376 ff., 
392 ft*.; and, for a clear and simple statement. The Old 
TestaTneiU in the Jevnsh Churchy W. R Smith : A. & C. 
Black, Edinburgh 1881, pp. 208 S. 

V. P. 80. But the attainment of which, etc. The 
rendering is, perhaps, rather free. The German is: 
" Welches (Ziel) zu erreichen aber sein gottlicher Beruf 

328 Appendices. 

und seine Bestimung sei, und zu dem es auch am 
Elide kraft des gottlichen Erwahlungsratschlusses 
gewiss gelangen werde " = To attain which goal vxis, 
hmvever, his Divine calling and his destinationy and 
which goal he would certainly in the end reach^ in virtue 
of the Divine elective decree. 

VI. P. 149. And if his hope^ eta Sentence marked 
by note 3; Germ. pp. 110-111: "Wie sollte er also, 
>venn ihm seine Hoffnung das letztere als ein nahes 
vergegenwartigt, bei der Schilderung desselben nicht 
auch in seine Gegenwart hineingreifen." There seems 
to be a half- conscious resonance between the words 
vergegenwartigt and Gegenwart which I have tried to 
reproduce. The sentence is awkwardly constructed, 
and it may fairly be doubted whether the sein in sein^ 
Gegenwart relates to the Undziel or to the prophet him- 
self — probably to the latter, though, in that case, the 
auch seems peculiar. The translation seems to favour 
the reference to the former, and I have allowed the 
sentence to remain as I wrote it first, because it seems 
to bring out the resonance above noted, without in 
the least degree altering the author's meaning, more 
effectively than a sentence altered to suit the strictly 
correct reference of the possessive pronoun could have 

VII. P. 201, note 2. The German of the italicised 
words is: "Dass Jehova selbst kommen werde, um 
seinen Einzug im Tempel zu halten und diesen fiir 
ewig zur Statte seiner Wohnung zu machen." The 
preposition im (before Tempel) seems to refer both to 
the verb halten and the noun Einaugy though the latter 
reference involves, of course, a slight grammatical 

VIII. P. 322, note. The sentence from which these 
words are taken may here be quoted in full, as an 
interesting statement of the view of the function of 

A. — Notes, 329 

Scripture which Riehm himself favours (I italicise the 
words which Biehm quotes) : " Wenn man jetzt wieder 
darauf ausgeht, in der Exegese alle theologischen In- 
strumente und Stimmen gleichsam zu einem theolo- 
gischen Universalconcert zu vereinigen, als ware die 
Exegese die ganze Theologie, da sie doch nur ihre Wur- 
zel oder ihr Grundbau ist, oder wenn man wieder Lust 
zeigt und darnach shebt an die Stelle der freien wissen- 
schafblichen Auslegung in ihrer Gebundenheit durch das 
gemeinsame Princip der evangelischen Kirche die con- 
fessionell beschrankte kirchliche, und an die Stelle der 
wissenschaftlichen hermeneutischen Norm die Norm 
der sjonbolisch gewordenen dogmatischen Formel zu 
setzen, wenn man endlich sich gar nicht mehr verstehen 
will auf die Freude an den griinen Kdmgedanken vmd 
an der ursprimglichen Ideenfiille der heiligen Schrift 
in ihrem FruMirigsschmucke, sondem nur darauf aus 
ist, die Schrift zu einer Scheuer voll eingesammelter 
und ausgedroschener Aehren dogmatischer Begriffe von 
sonst und jetzt herabzusetzen, — so wiirde de Wette mit 
alien geistig lebendigen und frischen Theologen gegen 
dergleichen scholastische Barbareien welche, wie die 
Geschichte lehrt, nur zu Entkraftigungen, Abschwach- 
ungen und Verwahrlosungen des urspriinglichen Gottes- 
u. Hermwortes in der Schrift fiihren, den entschiedensten 
Protest eingelegt haben, wie er es auch schon gethan hat 
in Beziehung auf die Anfange und Vorboten solcher Verir- 





(Nos. to the right show the pages where references occur ; 
c. and cs.sschapter, chapters ; ps, =i psalm.) 



2. lOff., . 99 

3. 20, 

. 93 


. 69 

10. 10, 

. 147 

12. 2 f., . 

68, 97, 193 

13. 14 If., 


17. 6, 

. 106 

17. 7 f., . 

68, 83 

18. 18, 18. 

18 f.,' 

97, 193, 68 

18. 25, 


21. 17, 

. 31 

22. 15, 

. 31 

22. 16 tf., 

. 68 

22. 18, 

97, 193 

26. 8ff., 


26. 4, 

. 97 

28. 3f., 

. 68 

28. 14, 

. 97 

28. 15, 

. 112 

35. 11 and 11 f., 

106, 68 

48. 20, 

. 97 


6. 2-8, .... 69 

6. 6f., 6. 7, 

70, 83 

11. 6, 

. 200 

12. 29, 

. 200 

14. 19, 

. 202 

16. 16, 


15. 18, 


19. 4ff., . 


19. 5, 


67, 72, 91 

19. 6, 


% 117, 197 

19. 19, 

. 81 



20. 22, 


23. 20, 


23. 21, 

. 282 

24. 3ff., 


24. 7 f., . 

. 67 

24. lOf., . 



29. 45, . . . 70. 83 

29. 46, 

. 70 

31. 13, 


32. 11 ff.. 


38. 16, 


33. 19, ' 


34. 6, 34. 7, 


40. 15, 

! 117, 259 


10. 3, 


10. 6, 


. 119 

11. 44, 11. 


73, 8:5 

cs. 17-26, 

. 66 

19. 2, 

. 73 

19. 36, 


20. 8, 

. 72 

20. 26, 

72, 73 


72, 73 

21. 15. 23, 

. 72 

22. 9, 

. 72 

22. 16, 


22. 32, 


22. 33, 


25. 38, 


26. 11 f.. 


26. 12, 


26. 40 ff., 

. 75 

26. 44 ff., . 


26. 45, 





5. 21, 

. 97 

8. 17, 


11. 16 ff., . 


11. 25 ff., . 


11. 29, 


12. 2, 


12. 6. 8, . 


14. 13 ff., . 


14. 18, 


16. 37ff, 


B. — Irutex to Scripture Passages. 



16. 40, . . . 

. 73 

15. 41, 

. 83 

18. 19, 

. 259 

20. 16, . 

. 202 

23. 5. 16, . 


23. 19, 

. 75 

23. 21, 

. 106 

24. 7. 17, 

. 106 

26. 13, 

. 117, 259 



4. 7 ff. , 

. 71 

4. 12. 36, 

. 31 

4. 35. 89, 

. 91 

9. 26ff., . 

. 76 

10. 17, 

91, 183 

10. 17 f., 

. 89 

17. 12, 

. 200 

17. 15. 

. 109 

17. 18, 

. 116 

18. 15, 

. 299 

18. 18, . 

. 42 

18. 20 ff.. 

. 18 

18. 22, 

. 144 

29. 19. 


80. 1 ff., . 

. 76 

30. 6, 

. 87 

30. 14, 

. 61 

32. 6, 

. 113 

32. 39, 


33. 6, 


33. 29, 

. 182 


o. 11. 18, . 


24. 19 ff., . 

. 73 


C. 0, > • • 1 

. 104 

O. ^u, . • 

89, 107 

20. 28, 



. 200 



1 Samuel. 

<5. 1 u., • . « 

4. 1 8. 18, . 
c. 8, 10. 17-11. 15, . 
c. 9-10. 16, 

9. 16, . . . 




10. 6f., 
10. 6. 10, 
10. 24, 
12. 3. 5, 
12. 22, 

12. 35. 

13. 14, 
c. 15, 

15. 29, 

16. 8. 10, 
16. 13, 

19. 20 ff., 

20. 2. 12. 13, 
22. 8. 17, 
22. 18, 

24. 7. 11, 
26. 28. 

25. 39, 

26. 9f., 
^o. o. 9, 

2 Samuel 

1. 14, 

8. 18, 

6. 24, 

c. 6, . 

6. 14, 

6. 16 ff., 

6. 21, 

c. 7, . 

7. 1 ff., 

7. 8 ff.. 

7. 12-16. 

29. . 

7. 14 and 7. 15, 



7. 23f., 




14. 17. 20. 

19. 27, 

21. 1 ff.. 

23. 1-7, 



24. 1 ff., 

1 ElMOS. 


1. 85. 40, 

2. 19, 
2. 26 f., 
8. 4 ff.. 


25, 42 

. 112 

. 113 

. 112 

. 114 

. 118 

. 118 

. 109 

. 102 

. 18 

. 191 

. 117 

. 112 

. 108 

. 69 

. 40 

. 115 

. 115 

. 119 
102, 108 

. 48 

. 119 

. 117 

. 180 

. Ill 

. 118 

. 115 



8* V} • • 
8. 14. 55. 65, 

8. 16, 

9. 4 f., 
9. 5, . 
11. 12 f. 32. 36. 
11. 84, 

14. 26 f., 

15. 4f.. 
19. 12 tf., 
19. 18, 
22. 8, 
22. 17 ff., 
22. 24, 
22. 28, 

8. 19, 
8. 20, 
C8. 11, 12, 
11. 12, 

11. 17, 

12. 5ff., 
18. 23, 
14. 24, 
16. 9, 

16. 9, 

17. 24, 

18. 4ff., 
18. 7, 

18. 25, 

19. 34, 

20. 6, 

21. 11 ff., 
c. 22, 

22. 15 ff., 

23. 4ff., 

23. 26 f., 

24. 3f., 


2 Kings. 

















. 112 

. 157 

. 197 

. 116 

. 110 

. 114 

. 75 

. 180 

. 180 

. 142 

. 146 

. 114 

. 114 

. 39 

. 113 

. 113 

. 164 

. 197 

164, 190 

. 114 

119, 164, 190 

. 119 

1 Chronicler. 

12. 18, 
17. 14, 

17. 26, 
28. 6, 

28. 7, 

29. 23, 

15. 1 f., 

18. 23, 

2 Chronicles. 




20. 14 ff., 

21. 16 f., 

22. 1, 
24. 20, 
26. 16 ff., 

30. 9, 

32. 23, 

6. 21, 
9. 11, 

9. 17, 31, 
9. 30, 

19. 26 f., 

31. 15, 

33. 16, 
36. 15, 

ps. 2, 
2. 2, 
2. 8, 
2. 8f., 
9. 12, 
9. 17, 
18. 22 f., 
18. 29-43, 
18. 43 ff., 
18. 44-46, 
ps. 20, 
ps. 21, 
21. 1. 7, 
21. 4, 
21. 5, 

21. 8ff., 
ps. 22, 

22. 8. 1. 18 
24. 1, 

31. 1, 
ps. 32, 
33. 5, 

35. 20, 

36. 5 f. 10 

37. 31, 
40. 6, 
40. 10 f., 
44. 1, 










. 85 
. 43 




. 40 

. 102 
110, 282 
61, 82 

B, — Index to Scripture Passages. 



ps. 45, . . . 102 1 

45. 8, 

. 110 

45. 4. 6 f., 

. 115 

45. 4 f., . 

. 114 

45. 6, 

'. 11 


47. 7, 


51. 11 f., . 


69. 27ff., . 


71. 2, 




72. 1-7. 12-16, 

. 114 

72.8-11, . 

. 116 

72. 17, . 

. 97 

72. 19, . 


78. 70, . 


79. 6, 


85. 10, . 


86. 15, . 


ps. 89, 

. 102 

89. 14, 

77, 8 

9, 188 

89. 20, . 

. 109 

89. 25, 


89. 26 ff., . 

. 112 

89. 27, 

. 116 

89. 28, 

. 114 

89. 28 f. 36 f., 

. 117 

96. 6, 

. 110 

96. 10, . 


96. 13, 


97. 2, 


ps. 101, . 


102. 8, 


103. 8, . 


103. 17, , 

. 77 

104. 1, . 

,. , 


104. 8, . 


ps. 110, . 


110. 1, . 

! 11 


110. 5, 


111. 8, . 


111. 4, . 


116. 5, . 


119. 46, . 


119. 64, . 


129. 4, 

. 78 

143. 10, . 


145. 17, . 

. 77 


14.31, . 

. 94 

16. 12-15. . 

» 1 

1 1 

. 114 i 


17. 5, 

. 94 

20. 8. 26, . 

. 114 

24. 21, 

. 110, 282 


1. 18, 

. 85 

c. 2, . 


. 153 

2. 1 and 2. 1 if., 

42, 185 

2. 2-4, 

. 207 

2. 3f., 

. 292 

2. 5, 


. 78 

2. 6-8, 

. 72 

4. 3, 

. 278 

4. 5 f., 

. 282 

5. 9, 

. 39 

5. 25ff., . 

. 153 

c. 6, . 

. 28 

6. 8, 

. 96 

6. 13, 

. 159 

c 7, . 

. 187 

7. 7. 16, . 

. 143 

7. 14, 7. 14 tf., . 

280, 149 

7. 16, 

. 157 

7. 17ff., . 

. 169 

7. 18 ff., . 

. 143 

7. 22, 

. 159 

8. Iff., . 

. 134 

8. 4, . . 

. 143 

8. 5 ff. , 

. 143 

8. 6, . . 

. 110 

8. 9, . . 

. 208 

8. 11 f., . 

. 28 

9. 1, 9. 1 ff.. 

. 312, 161 

9. 4. 6, . 

. 183 

9. 6, 9. 6 f.. 

280, 182 

10. 5, 15, . 

. 95 

10. 12, . 

. 161 

10. 13 f., . 

. 209 

10. 21, . 

. 183 

10. 22ff., . 

. 169 

10. 26, 

69, 286 

10. 32 ff., . 

. 160 

10. 33 f., . 

. 148 

c. 11, 

. 186 

11. Iff., . 

. 184 

11. 1. 16, . 

. 69 

11. 6ff., 11. 30. 

26, . 

99, 276 

11. 10, . 

. 2i 

)0, 284, 292 

11. 11 ff., 11. 11 


. 161, 286 

11. 14, . 

. 244 

c. 12, 

69, 286 




14. 14, 

. 196 

14. 24 ff., . 

. 143, 160 

17. 12flf., . 

. 160 

18. 3-7, . 

. 208 

18. 4flf., . 

. 160 

19. 1, . . . 

. 195 

19. 18-25, . 

. 207 

19. 19 ff., . 

. 261 

19. 23 ff., . 

. 244 

21. 10, . 


22. Iff., . 

. 159 

22. 14 and 22. 18, 

39, 147 

22. 21 ff., . 

. 188 

cs. 24-27, . 

. 189 

24. 18 ff., . 

. 100 

24.23, . 

91, 283 

25. 7, 

. 292 


100, 276 

26. 19, . 

. 100, 276 


. 264 

28. 7, 28. 14 ff., 

60, 159 

28. 22, 

. 29 

28. 29, . . . 

. 183 

29. 5ff., . 

. 160 

29. 7 f., . 

. 143 

29. 17, . . . 

. 161 

29. 18. 24, 

. 273 

30. If., 30. 8 ff., 

42, 134 

80. 10, . . . 

. 60 

30. 12 ff., . 

. 159 

30. 19ff, . 

161, 273 

30.26, . 

. 100 

30. 27 ff., . 

148, 160 

31. 6. 8 f., . 

. 148, 160 

31. 7ff., . 

. 161 

31. 8, 

. 18 

c. 32, 

. 187 

32. 3 f. 15, 

. 273 

32. 9ff., . 

. 159 

32. 14, . . . 

162, 258 

c. 33, 

. 160 

33. 13, 

. 208 

33. 17ff., . 

. 161 

33.24, . ( 

)9, 273, 276 

34. 4, 

. 100 

34.16, . 

. 184 

35. 8, 

93, 273 

36. 10, ' . 

. 39 

36. 17, 

. 147 

36. 18 ff., . 

. 209 

37. 4. 82, . 

. 211 

87. 11 ff., . 
37. 22 ff., . 
37. 38 ff., . 

39. 5ff., . 
cs. 40-66, . 22, 77, 

168, 191, 210, 212, 

40. 5, 40. 9f., 

41. 10 ff., 

42. 2 f., 

43. 1. 15, 
43. 10, 
43. 14, 
43. 16 ff., 

43. 25, 

44. 8, 
44. 8, 

44. 28, 

45. 1, 
45. 1. 13, 
45. 3, 
45. 6, 

45. 7-10. 13, 
45. 11, 
45. 21, 
45. 22 ff., 

45. 23, 

46. 11, 
48. 8, 
48. 9ff., 
48. 9. 16, 
48. 16, 

48. 22, 

49. 6, 

49. 26, 

50. 4 f., 
50. 5 ff., 
60. 11, 
52. 5f., 
62. 7, 
62. 8, 

52. 10, . - 
c. 58, . 216, 291, 

53. 12, 

54. 9, 

54. llf., . 
54. 13, . 8, 87, 170, 


. 209 

. 160 

. 143 

. 162 

78, 138, 

213, 288 

170, 201 



. 170 

. 312 

. 113 

. 191 



. 278 

170, 273 

. 191 




. 170 

. 170 

. 278 

. 113 

. 181 

. 169 





. 278 


. 290 

. 205 

299, 314 

. 170 

. 40 

. 312 

. 290 

. 100 

61, 82 

. 76 


. 201 

. 170 

303, 812 

. 303 

. 170 

. 275 

232, 274 

B. — Index to Scripture Passages. 




55.3-5, .... 191 

3. 6-6. 30, ... 164 

65. 7, 


8. 16f., . 

130, 233, 274 

65. 10 f., . 



3, 209 

56. 3 ff., . 

. 275 

3. 21 ff., 

. 166, 273 

66. 7, 

. 274 


97, 209 

57. 20f., . 

. 290 


. 83 

68. 7, 

. 94 

10. 24f., 

. 76 

59. 19, 

. 170 

10. 26, 


59. 20f., 59. 21, 


. 264, 42 



60. If. 19 f., 

. 201 

12. 15 ff., . 

. 209 

60. 13, 

. 276 

12. 16, 

. 292 

60. 17, 

. 275 


. 293 

60. 18. 21, 

. 273 

18. 13, 

. 200 

60. 19f., . 

. 275 

15. 4, 

. 164, 190 

60. 21, 

. 170 

15. 16, 

. 42 

61. 1, 

. 42 

16. 14 f., . 

4, 286 

61. 1 f., . 

. 302 

16. 19f., . 

. 209 

61. 6, 3, 169, 197, 232, 

17. 19 ff., . 

. 129 

273, 274 

17. 25, 17. 

26, ; 

189, 129 

63. 9, . . . . 202 

18. 18 ff., , 

. 129 

64. 4ff., . 

. 214 

20. 7-9, . 


65. 8, 

. 215 

20. 9, 


65. 9, 

. 69 

20. 10 ff., . 


66. 11 f., . 

. 290 

21. 22. 26, 

. 16 

66. 15, 

. 97 

22. 4, 

189, 200 

65. 16, 

. 97 

23. 5 f., . 

. 188 

65. 17, . 

. 100, 169, 276 


182, 286 

65. 20, 


23. 6ff., . 


65. 22, 

. 276 

23. 7 f., . 


65. 28, 


23. 16. 18, 

. 16 

65. 24, 

. 273 

23.26 f., , 

. 164 

66. 25, 

. 99, 276 

28. 28 f., . 

. 17 

66. 18, 

. 170 

28. 31, 


66. 18 ff., . 

. 140, 294 

23. 36-37, . 

. 52 

66. 21, . 169, 197, 282, 273, 

24. 7, 


18, 166, 278 


25. 3, 

. 23 

66. 22, . . 100, 169, 276 

25. 9, 


66. 23, . . . 100, 229 

25. 11 f., . 

. 165 

66. 24, . . . 

. 290 

26. 18 f., 

. 146 


c. 28, 

. 18 

1. 4. 7, . 


28. 8 f., . 

. 144 

1. 7, 


. 38 

28. 16, 

. 144 

1. 9, 


. 42 

28. 81, 


1. 10, 



29. 10, 

. 166 

1. 17ff., . 



29. 12f., . 

. 166 

1 59. 20 f., 59. 21. 59. 20 f. is at 264, and 59. 21 at 42. So in 
other instances, where ttoo citations are pnt in the same line to rectify 
a late discovered error, and are separated by a comma. 


Appendices, . 

29. 22, 
C8. 30-88, 
80. 9, 
80. 9. 21, 
80. 10, 

30. 21, 

80. 22, 
c. 31, 

81. 1, 

31. 14, 
81. 29fr., 
81. 81 ff., 

31. 83 and 

81. 84, 

32. 16 ff., 

82. 18, 
82. 88, 
82. 39, 
82. 39 f., 

82. 40, 
88. 2 f., 
88. 8, 
88. 8ff.| 
88. 11, 
38. 15, 
88. 16, 

38. 17. 21 f. 
88. 18 ff., 

83. 26, 

37. 17, 

38. 14 ff., 
38. 21, 

42. 4, 

43. 10, 
46. 26, 
46. 28, 

48. 47, 

49. 6. 39, 

49. 14, 

50. 20, 

81. 88 ff., 


. 97 
. 165 
. 270 
. 188 
. 292 
121, 189, 284 

. 69 


129, 190 

130, 278 
273, 274 

8, 87, 166 
165, 232, 274 
. 38 
. 188 
. 88 
. 87 
166, 273 
. 274 
. 9, 52 
165, 273 
. 259 
. 129 
. 188 
. 285 
. 189 
. 196 
. 189 
. 190 
. 190 
. 209 
. 75 
. 209 
. 209 
165, 273 


C8. 1 and 40, 
1. 26, 
2.8, . 

3. 2f., 
8. 10, 
8. 17, 

4. 14, 

. 28 
. 195 

. 42 
89, 41 

. 129 

9. 1. 5, 


11. 19 f., 

11. 20, 

11. 25, 

18. 2. 3. 6. 7. 17 


13. 22, 

14. n, 
16. 38, 
16. 60 ff., 
16. 61 ff., 

16. 68, 

17. 22 ff., 
20. 12, 
20. 12 ff., 
20. 83 ff., 
20. 38, 
20. 41, 

20. 48 f., 

21. 27, 

22. 26, 
28. 24 ff., 
32. 11 ff., 
84. 23, 
84. 28 f., 
84. 24, 
86. 25, 
36. 25 ff., 
86. 26 f., 36. 28, 

86. 31 f., , 76, 
36. 35, 

87. 28. 27, 
87. 24, 
87. 27, 

87. 28, 
C8. 38 and 39, 

38. 8. 11 ff 

88. 16. 23, 

39. 6, 

39. 29, 
C8. 40-48, 

40. 4, 
40. 39, 

42. 18, 

43. 2ff., 

44. 5, 
44. 19. 28, 


. 42 
87, 168, 278 
. 83 
. 16 
34, 59 
. 144 
. 83 
. 278 
. 75 
. 168 
168, 278, 289 
. 189 
. 72 
. 129 
. 289 
. 290 
75, 168 
. 188 
. 129 
. 129 
. 293 
. 270 
. 188 
278, 285 
102, 168, 273 
87, 83 
168, 278, 289 
. 99 
168, 273 
. 83 
188, 270 
. 70 
. 72 
140, 167, 294 
167, 294 
. 76 
. 167 
87, 273 
. 130 
39, 41 
. 232 
. 232 
. 201 
89, 41 
. 131 
130, 232 

B. — Index to Scripture Passages. 

44. 29, 

45. 8, 

46. 18 ff., . 
46. 16 ff., . 

46. 20, 

47. Iff., . 

2. 34 ft, . 
2. 34. 44, . 
2. 44,2. 44 ff., 
7. 4. e. 11. 12, 
7. 8 f., 
7. 11 ff., 

7. 11 ff. 21 ff., 
7. 13/., . 
7. 14, 
7. 18. 22. 2?, 

7. 21, 

■. 22, 
7. 24, 

12. 1 ff.. 
12. 2f., 

2. 18, 2. 18 r., 2. 18 ff., B9, 288, 

i. 18. 21 f., 

2. 19, 

2. 20 IT., . 

loe, no, 180, 270, 

■3. 4-14, . 
i. 10. 12 ff., 
i. 16-8. 3, . 

15G, IBS 

. log 

10. 11, 

. 166 


. 155 

13. lor., 

. 109 

14. 1. 8, 

. 289 

£32, 274 


. 193 

14. 4ff.. 


. 150 

1. 15, 

. 154 

. 164 


. 86 

2. 18-27, 

. 167 

2. 28, 2. 

:8 f., 2. 28 ff.. 


179, 273 

3. 1. 7, 

8. 1-18, 

. 157 

8. 8, . 

. 203 

3. 9 ff., 

. 140 

157, 168 


. 157 

9. 10, 
9. 11 f., 
9. 12, 






u. O, . . 




cs. 3, 6, . 

. 121, 284 

3. 12, 




3. 8 ff., 


. 193, 198 

c. 4, . 



o. H, . 

. 201 

4. 1-4, 



c. 4, 4. 1. 4 

I. 5, 

200, 41 

4. 6f., 



4. 7. 10, 


. 201 

4. 7, . 



6. 5. 10, . 


4. 8, . 



6. 4, . 


4. 9f., 



6. 9ff., 

. 193 

4. 10, 




6. 11 ff., . 

. 198 

4. 11-13, 4 

', 11 tr., 




6. 13, 

199, 201 

5. 1,. 




6. 15, 

. 201 

6. 2, 5. 2 ff. 

9 • 




6. 16, 

. 171 

5. 3, . 




7. 12, 


5. 4 f., 




o. o, . 

. 202 

5. 5f., 



8. 4, . 


5. 6f. 15, 



8. 7 f., 

. 253 

5. 6, . 



o. o, . 

. 83 

7. 7 ff., 



8. 13, 

97, 199 

7. 8 ff., 



c. 9, . 

. 182 

7. 13, 



C8. 9-11, . 

. 181 

7. 15, 




C8. 9-12, . 

. 160 

7. 18,7. 18 ff., . 




9. 9, 9. 9f., 202, 279, 311, 181, 



9. 10, 9. 14, 284, 292, 282 

X« v« • • • 




cs. 10, 11, . 

. 182 

10. 11, . . . 

. 160 


cs. 12-14, . 

. 189 

C X, . . . 

1. 13, 

2. 1, 2. 1 f., 2. 1 ff. 
2. 2,2. 2 f., 

2. 14, 

3. 2, . 

O. «/, ... 



12, 9" 





12. Iff., . 

140, 293 

» • 


41,* 4 


12. 8, .... 280 
12. 10, . . . 273 

12. lOff., . . 278, 290 

13. 1, 18. 1 ff., 102, 278, 286, 273 
18. 9, .... 83 

14. 3ff. 12ff., . 140,282,293 
14. 8, .... 275 


14. 9. 16, . 

. 209 

2. 11, 

u. 9, • • • 





14. 16 ff., . 
14. 20f., . 


. 229 
. 275 


2. 17, ... 

. 202 

2. 6, . 




8. 1, 3. 1. 5, 269, 282, 291, 121 

2. 7tf., . 




3. 1-9. 16 f., 

. 202 

2. 21ff., . 




«$. «S I. , • 
O. 0, • • • I 

. 201 
. 76 


4. 5, 4. 5 f., . 299, 269, 291 

1. 9. 18. 14, 
z. ^. /, 



2. 10. 11. 13, . 


8. 17, • 


2. 10 ff., . 


4. 1 8 ff. , 

. 312 

2. 11, 

» • 


11. 10-14, . 



. 304 

B. — Index to Scripture Pcmages. 


11. 14, 
11. 25, 

11. &7, 

12. 17 ff., 

16. 16 f., 16. 17, 

17. 5, 
17. 10 ff., 

19. 28, 

20. 20 ff., 

23. 29, 
cs. 24, 25, 

24. 84, 
24. 86, 
26. 54, 

26. 63 f., 

27. 43. 46, 

9. 12, 
13. 32, 

1. 76, 

2. 81 f., 
4. 21, 
22. 87, 
24. 4ff, 
24. 25 ff., 

2. 22, 
4. 22, 
4. 28f., 

4. 48, 

5. 89, 
10. 35, 
12. 28, 
19. 24, 

19. 37, 

20. 9, 





3. 26 f., 

8. 82ff., . 

9. 40, 

10. 9ff., . 

13. 46, 13. 46 f., 
16. 9, 


. 270 


. 804 

. 803 

301, 47 

. 31 

270, 304 

. 263 

. Ill 

. 263 


. 263 

. 148 

2, 803 

. 801 

. 812 



. 800 
. 300 
. 302 
. 803 




260, 314 
. 30 



I. 16, 
3. If., 
3. 29 f., 

5. 15 f., 

6. 28, 
9. 6ff., 
9. 24 ff., 

9. 25 f., 

10. 12, 

II. 1-10, 

11. 15, 
11. 25 ff, 
11. 29, 
11. 31 f., 
15. 8f., 


. 2, 5 

. 260 

. 260 

. 260 

. 265 

. 265 

. 260 

. 260 

. 260 

. 260 

. 256 

263, 265 

. 26.1 

239, 264 

. 266 

. 259 

1 Corinthians. 

12. 13, 
c. 14, 

14. 18, 

15. 51 f.. 

. 260 
25, 26 
. 26 
. 148 

2 Corinthians. 

1. 20, . 2. •?97, 300 

6. 2. 16-18, . .260 

6. 16, .... 260 

12. Iff.,. . . . 27 
12. 8 f., .... 51 


3. 7. 29, 
8. 16, 

8. 28 f., 

4. 21 ff, 
4. 22, 

4. 26, 
4. 27, 
4. 28, 
6. 15, 
6. 16, 

2. 11-22, . 

8. 13, 


8. 20, 








1. 24, 

3. 11, 


. 315 
. 260 

1 Theshaloxians. 
4. 16f., .... 148 


2. 14, 

1 John. 

2. 27, 

. 260 


c. 7, . 

11. 10. 16, 

12. 22, 

13. 14, 

■ • • 

• ■ 

a a a 

■ • • 

1 Peter. 

. 305 
. 287 
. 237 
. 237 

2. 9f., 
2. 22 tf.. 

• ■ • 
• • 

2 Petkk. 

. 260 
. 303 

1. 19, 
1. 21, 

• • • 

• as 

. 317 
. 122 




1. 7, . 

. 304 

2. 4ff., 

. 262, 263 

3. 12, 

. 237 

3. 21, 

. 200 

10. 7, 

. 263 

it. 20, 

. 168 

21. 2ff. 10 ff./ . 

. 237 


1 Macc. 10. 62 f., 

„ 14. 41, 
Sir. 48. lOf., . 




Book of Enoch, f 

46. 1, 48. 2ff., . . . 194 

48. 3. 6, . . . 298 

62. 5. 7, . . . . 194 

69. 27-29, . . .194 

Fourth Book of Ezka or 

12. 32ff., . . . 194 

13. 1 If., . . . 194 

Third Sibylline Book. 
vv. 286 f., . . 19.5 

Taroum of Jonathan on 

Isa. 4. 3, 22. 14, 26. 15-19, 65. 6. 

15, at p. 298, and on Lsa. 53. 

12, at p. 299. 
Hos. 14. 9, at p. 298. 
Mir. 4. 8, at p. 298. 


(1) Cicero, De DivincUiotu, i. 50 
(113), 51 (117), 57 (129), 30 
(63), p. 27. 

(2) HERonoTus, Hintoridn Ldffoi, 
i. 15, 103-106 ; iv. 11, 12, 
p. 164. 

* The pas.sage Mic. 4. 10 is discussed at length in note, pp. 145-8, 
and Dan. 7. 13 tf. in noUy px). 193-6. Zerh. 6. 13, at pp. 199, and 
Wal. 2. 1 tf. at p. 202. 

t English edition of this work by Schodde, Andover, Canada 1882. 

C. — Modem Works. 





Batjmgarten, . 
Baur (Gustav), 

Berth EAU, . . 

1jwEEK| ■ • . 

Bredknkamp, . 

BlTNSEN, . . . 

Caspari, . . 
Credner, . . 
Delitzsch, . . 

De We'ite, . . 

Diestel, . . . 

DUHM, . . . 

EWALD, . . . 

Franke, . . . 

GUTHE, . . . 


HE8S, J. J.,. . 


Der Prophet Daniel und die Offenbarung Johannis. 
(Clark's Transl. 1856.) See also below: Maff. 
and Encykl. Art. 

See below : M, and E, A. 

Oeschichte der cUttestamentlichen Wevtsaguni/, Gies- 
seu, Ricker, 1861, -—on Gen. 12. 8, etc., p. 97. 

See below : Jf. and E. A. 

Die Christologie des Neuen TestameiiUft. 

Synoptische Erkldrung der drei eraten Ei*angelien, 
edited by Hoi tzmann . Leipzig ,1862. 

Gesetz und Propheien, 1881. 

Bibdwerk, p. 195 (note). 

Ueber Micha den MorasUiiten, Christian ia 1851. 

On Joel 3. 19, p. 157. 

Die biblisch-prophetische Theologie^ ihre Fortbil- 
dung durch Chr. A, Cnutius und ihre neuente 
Entwickelung zeit der Christologie Hengstea- 
bergs. Leipzig 1845. Also varions references 
to Commentanes : OenedSj Isaiah, etc., and to 
his work, Die AUtentamefiitliche Weiasagung. 

Kommentar zur Offenbarung Jofiannli. Second 
ed. edited by Llicke. Passage cited from this 
work at p. 822 will be found also in the later 
or third ed. 

See below : M. and E. A. 

Kommentar zu Jesaias. Referred to incidentally, 
note, p. 188. 

Die Theologve der Propheten als Onindla^e/ilr die 
innere Entwickelungsgeschichte der israelilischen 
Religion. Bonn 1875. Naturalistic stand- 
point of this work criticised, p. 19. 

Das Volk Israel unter der Herrschaft der Kdnige. 
Two vols. 

Gesch. des Volkes Israel (Eng. Transl., Longmans, 
Green, k Co.), Dk> Lehre der Bibel tjon Oott. 

Da^ Alte Testament bei Johannes. 1885. 

De foederis notume JerenUana. Leipzig 1877. 

Chrintologie des Alten Testament h und Commentar 
iiber die Messianischen Weis8a{fungen. 8 vols. 
Second ed., Berlin 1854-57. Its view of 
mode of revelation to prophets discussed at 
length, pp. 20 ff. Modinc. of views of first by 
second ed. noted p. 24 (note). 

Brief e iiher die Offenbarung Johannis. Zuricli, 
Hanke, 1844. 




HlTZIG, . . . 



K.RILy • . . . 

Keim, . . . 

Knobel, . . . 
Kohler, . . . 
KoKio, Fr. Ep., 

KtPER, . . . 

LDCKE, . . . 

Meyek, . . . 

Oehler, . . . 

Orelli, von, . 

Pfleiderer, . 

Reuss, . . . 

RiEHM, . . . 

ROTHE, . . . 


8IMSON, . . 


Die. Jiidiache Apohalyptik, 1857. Richm adopts 
his view of the passage cited from this Third 
Sibylline Book, p. 195. 

Die Paalmen. 1863. Die KUintn Propheten, 
1852. (More recent edition by Steiner, 1881.) 

Weissagung vnd Er/uUung. 1841. Schr\ftbewtx9. 

CommentcUio de primitiva et vera festorum apud 
ffebnuoa rcUione. 1852. 

Article in Bun sen's Bihehvtrkt referred to p. 195 

Kommtniar 2U Ilesekiel and other Commentaries 
(Eng. Transl., Keil and Delitxsch Commentaries, 
T. & T. Claris). 

Oeschichte Jejtu von Nazara. (Eng. Transl., 
Williams & Norgate.) 

Com. on Numbers, p. 96. 

Die nachexUischen Propheten. Erlangen 1861. 

Der Offenbarungs hegriff des AUen TestamenteM, 
2 vols. Leipzig 1882. His literalistic view of 
prophetic revelation discussed at length by 
Riehm, pp. 29 ff. Die HauptproUeme der 
allisraelitisclien Beligionsgeschichie gegenUber 
den Enttoicktlungslheoretikem beleueJUet, Leip- 
zig 1884. (Eng. Transl., T. & T. Clark, 1885.) 

Das Prophetenthum des Alien Bundes. Leipzig 
1870. His view of the "contents "of a pro- 
phecy discussed, pp. 9 f. (note). 

See above on de Wette. 

On Rom. 11. 25 ff., p. 265. (Clark's Transl.) 

Prolegomena zur Theologie des Allen Testamentes, 
1845. See also below : M. and E, A. 

Die aUtestamentliche Weissagitng von der VoUen- 
dung des OoUesreiehes. Vienna 1882. (Eng. 
Transl., T. & T. Clark.) 

Die Religion ihr Wetten vnd ihre Oeschichte. 
Riehm's reference (p. 54) is to the second, not 
to the latest edition. (Transl., Williams & 
Norgate. ) 

Die Oeschichte der ?ieiligen Schriften Alten Testa- 
mentes. 1881 (new ed. 1890). 

Lehrbegriff des Hebr&erbrie/es. 1858. Hand- 
toGrttrbuch des biblischen AUerthums. 1884. 
Referred to p. 237 (note) in elucidation of 
phrase "heavenly Jerusalem." (See also below 
M. and E. A.) 

Zur DogmaHk. 1868. 

Die Keilinsehri/ten und da^ Alte Testament con- 
firms Riehm's view of Micah 4. 10 (p. 146). 

AltlestamenUiche Theologie, Frankfurt a. Main 
second ed. 1878. See also M. and E, A, 

On Hos. 1. 11, p. 180. 

C. — Modem Works. 



Smend, . . . 
Stadk, . . . 

Stahelin, . . 
Stkiner, . . 
Tholuck, . . 

Vatke, . . . 

AVeiss, Bern.,. 
Wellhausek, . 
WCnsche, . . 


Moses apud Prophetcis. 1875. See also M. and 

See M. and E. A . Opinion as to origin of concep- 
tion, Kingdom of Qod, rejected by Riehni, 
p. 89. 

On Zech. 6. 18 (p. 200). 

On Hitzig's Kleinen Propheten, p. 202. 

Die Propheten und ihre Weissoffungen. On mode 
of revelation to prophets, p. 20 (note). Da^ 
Alte Testament im Neueti Testament. On N.T. 
citations of O.T. passages, p. 307 (note). 

Biblische Theologie, 1885. Opinion on Kingdom 
of Oodf p. 89 (above). 

System der cutsynagogalen pal&stinischen Hieologie, 
Leipzig 1880. On significance of batfi ^61, p. 81 
ana elsewhere. 

Das Leben'Jesu, 2 vols., 1882. Second ed. 1884. 
Third ed. 1888. On historicity of Christ's 
birth at Bethlehem, p. 312. (Transl., T. & T. 

Gewhichte Israels, 1878. Prolejgomena zur Qes- 
chichU Israels. 1888. (Transl. A. & C. Black. ) 
On time when covenant-idea became central in 
conscionsness of Israel, p. 67. 

On Joel 3. 19, p. 157, 


I. Allgemeinc Missionszeitschriji — ^Dr. Warneck, referred 

to p. 210. 


KiEBM, . . . Der Missionsgedanke im Alien Testament, 1880, 

pp. 453 if., refd. to pp. 98 and 210. 

II. Evangdische KircJienzeitung. 

Hksgstenberg, Die Juden und die ChrisUiche Kirche, May 1857, 

refd. to p. 268. 

III. JahrhilcheT filT Devische Theologie. 

AuBERLEN% . . Ab?umdlung Hber die messianischen Weissa^ungen 

der mosaischen Zeit, 1858, Pt. iv. pp. 791, 
801 if., 834 tr. Refd. to p. 240, etc. 






i ♦ 




Die AlttestamenUiche Weiss<igung van Ittrads Reichs- 
herriichkeit in seinem Lande, 1859, vol. iv. {». 
608 (refd. to p. 19), and id, pp. 595 ff., and 
V. pp. 486 ff. (p. 133, etc.). 

IV. p. 352, on Deut. 18. 22 (p. 144). 

IV. pp. 622 and 626, on historical sense of pro- 
phecy (p. 152). 

IV. pp. 334-353, on unfulfilled prophecy (p. 223). 

Die Idee der Cferechtigkeit im AUen TestameiUe, 
1860, vol. V. np. 176 f. (p. 91). 

Die Idee den theokratisehen K&nigSy vol. viii. 
pp. 536 S, (p. 102, etc.). 


> > 

Oeuler, . . 


f » 

IV. Handwbrterbuch des Jnblischen Alterthums — Riehni. 

Kiehm, . . . "Zeichen und Wunder" — Criticism of Hengsten- 

bei^, p. 23. 

'* Priester,^' on priestly functions of Davidic kings, 
p. 118. 

" Zeitrechnung," frequently referred to in confirma- 
tion of dates given by Riehm. 

" Thron," on Zech. 6. 13, p. 200. 

V. Becdencyklopadie — Herzog. 

** Ezechiel," on fulfilment of ritual details sketched 
by Ezekiel (iv. pp. 303 f., first ed.), p. 240. 

" Eonige Konigthum in Israel," p. 102. 

"Messias" (first ed. p. 414), on origi\x of kingly 
conception of the Messiah, p. 186. 

** Weissagung," vol. xvii., at p. IS et poHsim. 

VI. Studien und Kritiken. 

1864, pp. 552 ff., on Johanninc Christology. Kefd. 

to p. 2. 
1872, pp. 558 ff., on prophet's knowledge of the 

future. Refd. to p. 50. 
1883, pp. 803 ff., criticism of v. Oi-elli. Refd. to 

p. 10, etc. 
Uehir die von den Prophden des 8 Jahrhunderts 

voratisgenetzte Entwiekelungsstufe der israel- 

itiscfien Beligion, 1876, Pt. Iv. esp. pp. 622 ff. 

Refd. to p. 65, etc. 

VII. Pamphlet. 

Ueber die besondere Bedentung des AUen Testa- 
ments f&r die religidse Erkenntniss und das 
religHise Leben der christlichen Oemeinde, 
Halle 1864. Rc-fd. to p. 320. 





RiF.HM, . 

D. — Recent Literature on Messianic Prophecy, 345 


ScuuLTZ, Herm., Ueber doppelten Schryftainn, 1866, on acquired Mes- 
sianic sense of some of Psalms. Refu . to p. 299. 

VIII. Zeitschrift filr die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft — 


NowACK, . . 1884, p. 286, on Micali 4. 10. Refd. to p. 147. 
Stade, . . . 1881, pp. 1 ff., and 1882, pp. 151 If., and 275 ff., on 

date of Zech. 9. 11. Refd. to p. 182. 

. . . 1881, p. 10, on Zech. 6. 13. Refd. to p. 200. 

. . . 1881, p. 167, on Micah 4. 10. Refd. to. p. 147. 



(For the part of the lists following which exhibit the principal 
literature up to 1886, I am mainly indebted to Mr. Stanton s i/etmA 
and Christian Messiah ; the part dealing with the literature subse- 
quent to 1886, I owe mainly to the courtesy of Dr. P. Schmiedel of 

T. Monographi. 


AXGER, . . . Vorltswuftn uber die GtHchichU der Metotiatmrhen 

Idee. 1873. 
Baldeksperoer, Das Selbslbetcusslein Jesu im Lirhte der Messiau- 

ischen Hoffnungen neintr Zeit, Strassburg, 

Heitz M. Mundel, 1888. (For a review of -thi.s 

work, see art. by Rev. A. HaUiday Douglas, 

M.A., Theological ReHew and F. C. CoUtge 

Quarterly, April 1889.) 
Baron, . . . Ifayn of Messiah's Glory, London, liod. &Stought. 

1886. 270 pp. 
Brioom, . . . Messianic Prophecy. (Aims at complete exegetical 

treatment of Messianic passages. ) Clark, £din. ; 

Scribner, N.Y. 579 pp. 
Castelli, . . // Messia Secondo gli El^ret. 1874. 
Dklitzsch,* . Messianische Weissagungen in geschirhilicJier Folge, 

Faber, Leipzig 1890. 160 pp. 

• TnuiMl. by Prof. Curti»K, Chicago. In press, Clark. 




Drummond, . 

Gloao, . . . 


Orelli, v., 

Reinhard, . . 

Scott, . . . 

Stanton, . . 


Tlie Jewish AfesHtah. 1S77. (Still {lerhaps the main 

English authority on this aspect of the subject.) 
The Messianic Prophecies (Bainl liecture for 1879). 

Clark, Edin. 
Die Judische Apokcdyptik in ihrer geschichtlichen 

ErUwirkelung. 1857. 
Old Testament Prophecy of the CoiiHummation of 

Ood*s Kingdom, (Clark's Transl. ) 
Der WelterlCser im Alten Testament, xum Itewndere 

im Buche Cfenesis und in den Mythen der Heiden- 

loelt, Publ. by the author, 1888. 149 pp. 
''Historical Development of tlie Messianic Idea" 

{Old Testament Stmlent, 1888, 176-180). 
Tlie Jewish and Chi'istian Messiah : A Study in the 

Earliest History of Christianity. Clark, Edin., 

1886. 394 pp. (The latest ffreat work of English 

growth. ) 

II. Works dealing in part with the Subject, or same 

aspect of if. 

Alexander, . 

Bauer (Bruno), 

Breuil, V. nu, 
Candlish, . . 

COLANI, . . . 

Dalman, . . 
Davidson, S., 


Edersheim, .. 

EWALD, . . . 

Forbes, . . . 

A System of Biblical Theology. Kdin., Clark, 1888. 

2 vols. 960 pp. 
Kritik der EvangeUschen Geschichtt der Stfnoptiher 

(see vol. i. pi). 891-416). 1841. 
La L4gende du Messie. Paris 1890. 398 ])p. 
The Kin^fdom of Ood, biblically and hiMtorically 

considered. Edin., Clark, 1884. 
Jesus-Christ et les Croyanres Mejtsianiqurs de son 

temps. Second ed., 1864. 
Jesaiab^ — erl&iUert. Leipzig, Faber, 1890, price Is. 
The Doctrine of Last Things contained in the X. T., 

compared tcUh the Notions of the Jews and the 

Statements ofCliurch Creeds. 1 882. ( * * Mainly 

occupied with a comparison of different writings 

of the N.T. ; comp. with the * notions of the 

Jews' very slightly done." — Stanton.) 
Die Weltreiche una (Uis Oottesreich narh den Weisftfi' 

gungen den Profeten Daniel. Freiburg -in - 

Baden, Herder, 1890. 144 pp. 
The Hfe and Times of Jesus the Messiah^ Book ii., 

c. v., "What Mes.siah did the Jews expect?" 

History of Israel. See esp. vol. vi., Eug. Transl., 

pp. 103-121, besides many scattered notices. 
The Servant qf the Lord in Isa, xl.-lxvi. reclaimed to 

IsaicJi as the. Author from argument, structuir, 

and date. Edin., Clark, 1890. 

D. — Recent Literature on Messianic Prophecy, 3-47 


Hellwao, . . 

holtzmann, . 

JOST, .... 

KaA'SEIS, . . 

Keim, . . . 

Kino, . . . 

KUENEK, . . 

Lano, . . . 

Lanoek, . . 

uUCKE| • • . 


MCllek, . . 
Neumann, . . 

RlRHM, . . . 



** Die Vorstellung von der PniexisteiizChristi in der 

altesten Kirche," Thed, Jahrbb,, von Baur u. 

Zeller, 1848, pp. 144-161, 227-240. 
History oftht New Testament Times (Eng. Transl., 

W. & N., 1880). See esp. vol. i. pp. 191-206, 

vol. ii. pp. 222-261. 
'*Die Messias-Idee zur Zeit Jcsu," Jahrhh. /. d, 

Theol, vol. xii. Heft 3, pp. 389-411. 1867. 
Geschichtt den JudetUhums u. Seiner Sel-fetij i. 309, 

396-97. 1857-59. 
Die Theologie den Alien Testaments in ihrer 

Oeschichtiicheu Entxcickelung. £d. Keuss, 

Strassburg, UniversitiitHbuchhandlung, 1886. 

264 pp. 
Life of Jesus of Nazara, Eng. Trausl. (W. & N.). 

See esp. vol. i. pp. 314-327, vol. iv. pp. 256-343, 

and vol. vi. pp. 384-end. 
The YcUhU on Zecha-riah^ translated with Notes and 

Appendices. Appendix A, pp. 85-108, on 

Messiah Ben -Joseph. 1882. 
Beligion qf Israel (Eng. Transl.), iiL 259-273. 
"Die Messias-Ideen der Juden,"art. in Zeitstimmen 

aus der reformirten Kirche der A^chweiz, 1866. 
Das Judenthum in PaUistina zur Zeit Christi, 

p. dSl-end, ''also discussion of documents" 

(SUnton): 1866. 
Versuch einer Volistdndigen EinleUung in die Offtn- 

harung des Johannes (4th vol. of Com. on 

Writings of St. John), second ed., 1852. See 

esp. pp. 17-212. Riehm quotes from this work, 

p. 822. 
Parallelen zu den messianischen Weissoffunffen und 

Tffpen desAlten Testaments ausdem heilftiischen 

Alterthum. Leipzig 1876. 
Die Messianischen Brscheinungen hei den Juden, 

Thdologie de VAnrien Testament. Paris, Fisch- 

bacher, 1886. 315 pp. 
Ahtestamentliche Theologie^ revised and editeil since 

the author's death by K. Pahnke. Halle, 

Strien, 1889. 440 pp. See a review of iYd^ 

work by Prof. A. B. Davidson in the Critical 

Review of Theol, and Phil. Lit. vol. i. No. 1, 

pp. 28 ff. 
Theologia Sacrosancta^ Grundlinien der biblischen 

Theologie. Gotha, Schloessmann, 1888-89, 

2 vols. 526 and 616 pp. (Author seeks to 

prove that Jehovah ( Yah^veiJi) is everywhere to 

De identified with Jesus. ) 
Arts. " Messias " and " Messianische Weissagungen " 

in Bihel- Lexicon, 1871. 





SCHtJRER, . . 

Vernbs, . . . 

Weber, . . . 

Weidner, . . 

West, . . 


YOUNO, . . 

Zeller, . . 



Kompendium der biblischen Tkeologie des Allen u. 
Ntuen Testaments, edited by £. Kuhn. Leip- 
zig, Dorffling u. Franke, 1889, 192 pp. 

AUtestamentUche Tkeologie, Fourth (completely re- 
vised) ed. Gottingen, Vandenhoeck u. Kup- 
lecht, 1889. 828 pp. (Exceedingly full on all 
the elements of Messianic Hope. See esp. Part 

Oeseh, des Jlldiscken VoUces im ZtUalter Jesu. (£ng. 

Transl. just completed, 1890, in 5 vols., Edin., 
Clark. With valuable Index q, vid, on 
*' Messiah " and '* Messianic Hope. ) 

Histoire des Idies MessianiqueSf depuis Alexandre 
jusqu* d Vempereur Hadrien, 1874. 

System der Alteynagogalen Paldstinischen Tlieologie 
aus Targum, Midrasch und TcUmitdf 4th 
Section, pp. 322-386. 1880. 

Baikal Theology of O. T. based on Oehler. Phila- 
delphia, Gamer, 1886. 224 pp. 

Eschatology. Chicago, Fleming, 1889. 493 pp. 

Die Idee des Belches OoUes, 1872. 

TJie Christology of the Targums. 1863. 

Theologisclie Jahrbb. for 1843^p. 35-52. 

Handbuch der theologischen Wissenschaft^i, vol. i. 
third ed. pp. 422-477 : Thedogie des Allen 
Testaments, von F. W. Schultz, ergunzt von 
K. V. Orelli. 1888. 

III. Editions of some pf the chief Jewish DoaimeiUs. 






Oracula SibyUina. 1869. 

Das Bvch Henoch, uebersetzt u. erkldrt. 1853. 

" Das Buch der Jubilaen, oder die kleine Genesis ; 
aus dem Aethiopischen iibersetzt," in Ewald's 
Jahrb, der Bibl. Wissensch. 1850-51. 

Libri Apocryphi Vet. Test, quibus accedunt Pseud- 
epigrapht selecli, **For Psalms of Solomon, 
Fourth Book of Esdras, the Apocalypse of 
Baruch, and the Assumption of Moses" (Stan- 
ton), 1871. 

Enoch, Andover 1882. (The 07ily Eng. edition of 
the Book of Enoch.) 

T. and T. ClarKs PMications. 


Now complete, in Three Vole. imp. 8vo, prioe 248. etch, 



JSiblicalt l)i0toricalt DoctrinaU and practical XLbcoio^^. 

Based an the Real^Encyclop&die ofHerzog^ Plitt^ andHauck, 
Edited by PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D., LL.D. 

* A well designed, meritorions work, on which neither indastry nor expense 
has been spared.* — Qvardian, 

* This certainly is a remarkable work. ... It will be one without which 
no freneral or theological or biographical library will be complete.* — Freeman. 

*■ Tbe need of such a work as this must be very often felt, and it ought to 
find its way into all college libraries, and into many private studies.* — 
Christian World. 

*■ As a comprehensive work of reference, within a moderate compass,' we 
know nothing at all equal to it in the large department which it deals with.' 
—Church Bells. 



In Imperial 8yo, price 8s., 


* A very useful EncyclopiBdia. I am very glad to have it for frequent 
reference.^ — ^Bight Kev. Bishop Liohtpoot. 

Now complete, in Four Vola imp. 8vo, price 12& 6d. each, 


Wi\X\i SUttstrattons aiOr maps. 
Edited bt PHILIP SCHAFF, D.D., LL.D. 

VchoM I. 

VoluvM TTT. 

Volume IT. 



VUume IF. 

*• A useful, valuable, and instructive commentary. The interpretation is set 
forth with clearness and cogency, and in a manuer calculated to commend the 
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* There are few better commentaries having a similar scope and object ; 
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*• External beauty and intrinsic worth combine in the work here completed. 
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